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" Reform is the toisest and mofif. natural Prfaentive of 
Revolution." — Emerson. 







Author of ^^Recollections and Experiences of an Aholitioniat 
[1872) ; Gorr. Me.mher oj the British and Foreign Ant i- Slavery 
Society, and the Anti-Slarery of France ; Vice-President 
of the National Liberty League of the U. S.; Presi- 
dent of the Ontario Medical Liberty League, the 
Anti-Oompnlsory Vaccination League, ami 
the Food Reform Society of Canada, 
etc., etc., etc 

"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to 

them." — Jesiifi. 



. 1893. 

Entered acoorfUnj? to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 
one thonsand ei-ht hnndred and ninety-three, l>y Alexander 
Milton Ross, at the Department of Agrienltiire. 

6USI F3. 

1 ruv.>i4; 


^0 ih^ ^etnovvi 



The Martyr ; 


The Liberator ; 


Th(^ Emancipator : 

Lt'orett.v Mott, Gerrit Smith, Wendell Phillips, Horace 

Greely, William Lyon Mackenzie, 

Marshal S. Bidwell, Russel T. Trall and 

J, Emery Coderre, 


This volume is reverently dedicated by 



These Memoirs are givei] to the public in compli- 
ance with the repeated solicitations of friends and 
co-laborers. In their preparation I have strictly 
refrained from any attempt at embellishment or 
amplification, but have aimed at accuracy of state- 
ment, briefness of description, and simplicity of 


Toronto, 1893. 





My Heritage — Earliest Recollections — First Impressions of Hu- 
man Slavery — First Experience of a Struggle for Freedom — 
lieave Canada — Arrival in New York City — Marshal S. Bid- 
vvell — Horace Greeley — William Cullen Bryant- Dr. Valentine 
Mott— Dr. Trail— First Visit to Washington— Joshua R. G id- 
dings — Dr. Gamaliel Bailey — Gen. Sam. Houston — Senate and 
House of Representatives — Daniel Webster — John C. Calhoun 
— Henry Clay — Intemperance at the Capitol— Slave Coflfies— 
Return to New York— The Death of My Mother— Visit Canada. 


From my mother I received a heritage of quali- 
ties which have been ruling factors in all my labors 
for the betterment of humanity — a love of nature, 
and a love of freedom. From my childhood I have 
hated and rebelled against tyranny and oppression, 
under whatever form they were manifested or im- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 


My earliest recollections of a struggle against 
oppression date back to the 3^ear 1838. The Ca- 
nadian Government at that time was a selfish, ar- 
rogant, oppressive Family Compact, that deserved 
annihilation, and would have met it, had all the 
Liberal leaders been animated with the zeal, energy, 
courage, intelligence and consistency of William 
Lyon Mackenzie, to whom Canadians of to-day are 
more than to any man indebted for the rights and 
liberties they now possess. 


My first impressions of human slavery were re 
ceived from my mother, to whom I am indebted for 
whatever I have accomplished or attained that is 
worthy and meritorious. Subsequent descriptions 
of the internal working of the institution of slavery 
in the slave states, were given me by fugitive slaves 
in Canada. 

Many of these victims of " man's cruelty to man " 
bore ineffaceable evidence of brandings with red 
liot irons, scourgings, and horrible mutilations, the 
sight of wliicli kindled an unquenchable flame, and 
clinched my determination to do what I could 
toward " letting the oppressed go free." 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 


In my seventeenth year I went to the United 
States to prepare for the battle of life. My first ob- 
ject was to acquire a broader and fuller knowledo-e 
of the workings of human slavery in the United 
States. My next object w^as to acquire a knowledge 
of medicine and surgery, wdiich would enable me to 
earn the means to prosecute what w^as even at that 

early period the leading aspiration of my life the 

abolition of human slavery. 

I had long before determined to cast my lot with 
the despised and hated men and women, who were 
sacrificing their all to obtain freedom for the poor 
down-trodden slaves of the republic. 


I had often heard my mother refer in kindly 
terms to Marshal S. Bidwell, as an old friend then 
residing in New York. Mr. Bidwell had occupied a 
prominent political position in Canada, previous to 
the rebellion of 1837, but becoming involved in 
opposition to the (Family Compact) Tory Govern- 
ment he was forced to leave the country, and settled 
in New^ York, where he attained high distinction as 
a lawyer and jurist. He was noted for his high and 
<leHcate sense of honor, as well as for intellectual 
refinement aud culture. He received me in the 

4 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

kindest manner, asking many questions about old 
friends in Canada. I became a frequent visitor at 
his home, and there met many of the most worthy 
citizens of New York. 

Through Mr. Bidwell, I became acquainted with 
Horace Greeley, William Cullen Bryant, and many 
other good men and women, whose kindl3^sympathy 
and pure lives have been a blessing to me. 


I also formed what proved a life-long friendship 
with Dr. Trail the Hydropathist, who at that time 
was actively disseminating his hydropathic and h}^- 
gienic theories. I attended his evening lectures and 
subsequently graduated at his school. He was an 
active, vigorous thinker and speaker : very inde- 
pendent and UD compromising, and tenacious of his 
opinions. His life and labors were productive of 
great good to humanity. 


I also became acquainted with Dr. Mott, wlio 
at that time stood at tlie head of his profession in 
America, if not in tlie world. 

Dr. Mott was a kind, philanthrophic man, quite 
simple in his manner and unconsious of his profes- 
sional distinction. He rendered me great assistance 
in my studies, and did me many acts of true kind- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 5 

ness at a time when I was preparing for the battle 
of life. I shall ever revere his memory. 


Mr. Greeley and other friends advised me to spend 
the winter in Washington. I was made acquainted 
with Joshua R. Giddings, of the House of Represen- 
tatives, General Sam. Houston, of the Senate, and Dr. 
Gamaliel Bailey of the National Era, who secured 
me a good position in the office of the Era, where 
my duties were light, affording me plenty of time 
for study and observation. I was made a welcome 
visitor at the house of Dr. Bailey and his excellent 
wife, and participated in the delightful intellectual 
feasts that made their home the resort of the best 
and greatest men of that day. At the feet of 
•' Gamaliel " I was happy to sit and listen to words 
of wisdom. Weekly and bi-weekly informal recep- 
tions were held by Mrs. Bailey, which were attend- 
ed by liberals of every shade of politics and religion. 
There I frequently met Joshua R. Giddings, Ben- 
amin F. Wade, Salmon P. Chase, William H. Sew- 
ard, Horace Mann, Henry Wilson, Robert Rantoul, 
and sometimes foreign political refugees. 

Congress was in session, and the city was full of 
gay people. General Taylor was President, and the 
Government was under the baneful influence of the 
slave power. I spent several hours every evening 

Memoirfi of a Reformer. 

at the capitol, listening to the speeches of the great 
men of that period, for there were intellectual giants 
in the Senate in those days. But, althouo-h the in- 
tellectual power of the Senate at that time undeni- 
ably surpassed that of any other period in the his- 
tory of tliat body, tliere was a cringing and bowing 
down to the slave power, that in a great measure 
destroyed the usefulness of these great men. 

In the Senate were Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, 
John C. Calhoun, Colonel Benton, General Sam- 
Houston, Jefferson Davis, Mason of Virginia, and 
Pierre Soule of Louisiana. 

In the house of Representatives were Joshua R. 
Gid dings, Salmon P. Chase, Thaddeus Stevens, Pres- 
ton King, David Willmott (of Wilmott Proviso), 
Charles Durkee, Alexander H. Stevens, Andrew 
Johnson, and many other men of mark. With Mi'. 
Giddings and General Houston I formed friendships 
that continued till their deaths. 

I frequently lieard Webster, Clay and Calhoun 

These three Senators formed a trio of intellectual 
giants, but morally they were dwarfs. 

Mr. Calhoun was aged and infirm : Itis voice was 
tremulous, and his step feeble, he appeared despond- 
ent and gloomy, and no wonder, for all liis plans 
and schemes had failed. He was wasting away 
with the disease tliat eventually terminated liis life. 

He was thin, pale and feeble, but his intellectual 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 7 

face, and the peculiar light that flashed from his 
eyes while speaking, made him a veiy striking 

Daniel Webster at that time was a most majestic- 
looking man, physically and intellectually, 

His frame was massive and lion-like, his head 
large, neck full and strong, his eyes the grandest 
and most expressive of intellectual power I ever 
saw. His influence for good, however, was weak- 
ened by political and pecuniary environments. He 
had been repeatedly thwarted in his ambition for 
the presidency, and the disappointment marred his 

Henry Clay was a ready, forcible speaker, and 
very eflective in debate ; his presence was magnetic 
he was tall, slender and alert. His head was large 
and high, his nose prominent and inquisitive, his 
eyes bright and piercing, his eyebrows overhang- 
ing. Being a man of great personal magnetism, he 
had many personal friends who spoke of him with 
pride as " Harry of the West." Mr. Clay's great 
ability and power were rendered useless for the 
public good, by the evil spirit of human slavery, 
and by his ambition to become President, which 
hampered and embittered his last yeai's. 


I occasionally witnessed exciting scenes in the 
House. The southern members were habitually 

cS Memoirs of a Reformer. ' > 

haughty and dictatorial in their manner, and in their 
speeches assumed a domineering tone toward north- 
ern members, especially the Whigs. On one occa- 
sion I witnessed a very exciting conflict lietween 
Foote of Tennessee, commonly called " Hangman 
Foote," and Colonel Benton, nicknamed " Old Bul- 
lion." They were both from slave states, conse- 
quently, I was neutral in my sympathy, and indif- 
ferent as to the consequences, the contest however, 
ended without bloodshed. On several occasions I 
witnessed brutal attacks on northern men, and 
often saw bowie-knives and pistols flourished, ac- 
companied by threats of violence. It was the cus- 
tom of the slave-holders to try and accomplish by 
intimidation and brute force, what they could not 
meet by argument. The power and influence of 
the Government at that time was wielded in the 
interests of human slavery. 


The vice of intemperance was not, as now, re- 
stricted to a fevv^ exceptional cases, but was fear- 
fully prevalent. A glass of whiskey or brandy could 
often be seen on the desk of a Senator during a de- 
bate, and the free use of intoxicating drinks by Sena- 
tors was too common to provoke remark. It was 
still more common in tlie House, and the scenes of 
drunkenness and disorder in tliat body at times, es- 

Me'inoirs of a Refor'tner. 9 

pecially during a prolonged night session, were 
sometimes disgusting. On these occasions large 
quantities of intoxicants were deposited in a room 
connected with the House, which was thronged l)y 
members at all hours of the night. 


From my window I frequently saw gangs of 
slaves pass, generally chained together in coffles of 
ten or fifteen men and women promiscuously, and 
always moving in one direction — Virginia, the chief 
slave market of the south at that time. These sad 
sights intensified my hatred of that vile institution, 
and served to clinch my determination to " let the 
oppressed go free," but I must bide my time. In 
consequence of frequent attacks of illness, which I 
attributed to the unhealthy condition of the city, 
I was obliged to leave Washington and return 
north. My residence in the capital had been of 
great interest and value to me. The opportunities 
I had enjoyed of listening to the debates in Con- 
gress of the leading men of the nation, the many 
friendships I had formed, and the advantages im- 
proved, will never be forgotten. I returned to New 
York and continued my medical studies. My ac- 
quaintance with Mr. Greeley and Mr. Bryant, both 
of whom were very kind and solicitous for my 
welfare, brought me in contact with good minds, 
which proved a source of enjoyment and benefit. 

10 Mentoirs of a Reformer. 

To both these good men I am specially indebted for 
many kindnesses. At their homes I was always 
made to feel that I was a welcome guest. Mr. 
Greeley was a most excellent man, gentle as a 
woman, and overflowing with kindness and child- 
like simplicity and innocence, one of the gentlest 
men I ever met. His heart and brain were full of 
human sympathy and love. 

Mr. Bryant was a true and intelligent friend, 
whose kindness and friendship will never be for- 
gotten by me. 

MY mother's illness AND DEATH. 

In 1855, I was called to Canada by the serious 
illness of my mother, who was prostrated with con- 
gestion of the lungs, from which she died. Words 
are inadequate to describe ni}^ feelings at this tei'ri- 
ble bereavement 

She had always been my inspiration. Her as- 
surance to me when I tirst left home in IHW, " In 
spirit I shall be with you, wherever you are," was 
an ever present support and rock of defence. How 
could any evil come to me when one so good was 
watching over — was ever with me :* 

My mother had ever made the Golden Rule tlie 
standard by which slie lived. She taught me tliat 
to live for one's own gratification and liappiness was 
ignoble and unworth}^ That the greatest pleasures 
are those wliich arise from devotedness to others : 

Memoirs of a Reform pv. 11 

that no work is more excellent than helping others 
to better lives. 

The noblest career, in her eyes, Avas that whieli 
is given up to others' wants : the successful was tliat 
which is worn out in conflict with wrong ; the only 
worthy ambition, to alleviate human misery, and 
leave the world some better than you found it. 

My mother's life was not an uneventful one. 
Her father was connected with the commissariat ser- 
vice of the British army in Canada in LSI 2. When 
the war broke out between the United States and 
Britain, she, then a little girl, accompanied her par- 
ents to Newark, now Niagara, where the Britisli 
troops were concentrating. During the frequent 
changes, defeats and victories that occurred she 
shared in the sufferings and vicissitudes consequent 
to a war in wliich Indian savages bore a part. 
When the town was destroyed by the enemy, she, 
witli her mother, found a refuge in the " burial 
ground." On the return of the British forces, the 
women and children were ])laced on board a schoon- 
er and sent to Kingston. As the vessel was obliged 
to keep close to the Canadian shore, for fear of the 
United States' cruisers, it was five weeks before 
they reached Kingston. During the voyage there 
was much suffering for lack of clothing and food, 
as all they possessed had been destroyed in the fire. 
My mother's sufferings from cold inspired one of tlie 
sailors to cut tlie tops from his boots and make a 

12 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

pair of shoes for the protection of her feet. Many 
years after this she often spoke with feelings of 
gratitude of the kind act of tliis sailor. While re- 
siding with her mother (her father had died from 
wounds received from the enemy) on the Kingston 
or military road, west of Kingston, their liouse was 
broken into one night, by a band of half -drunken 
Mohawk Indians, who were on the Avar-path. After 
the Indians had eaten all the food in the house and 
broken the furniture, one of the savages seized my 
mother by the hair and lifting her from the floor, 
drew his scalping knife to kill her, when the chief, 
— Loft, by name — knocked the savage down and 
saved my mother's life. Years after this occurrence, 
this same savage was seriously, and it was thought 
at tlie time fatall}^, wounded in a fight, and my 
mother hearing of it drove to the Reservation with 
a physician, and provided such good treatment for 
the Indian that he finally recovered. When the 
cholera visited Canada, and hundreds were being 
slain by it, she sacrificed herself in caring for its 
victims. The draft on her vitality was so great 
that she never recovered from it. My mother's dis- 
position was one of exceeding kindness, patience and 
devotion to duty. She was a lover of flowers and 
birds, and a sincere and active friend of the poor. 
The negro refugees, from tlie slave states, always 
found a faitliful friend and a smcere welcome at 
her home. 


Visit Gerrit Smith — Charles Sumner — Lucretia Mott — Wendell 
Phillips — William Lloyd Garrison— John G. Whittier — Become 
an Active Abolitionist — The Outlook — Human Slavery as it 
Was— Four Millions of Slaves in Bondage — Slaves were Chattels 
— Slave Sales — Runaway Slaves — Women for Sale — Commun- 
ity of Property — Mides, Slaves and Cattle — Blood Hounds — 
Special Laws for Hecapturing Runaway Slaves — Fiendish 
Brutalities Towards Slaves — Opinions of Jefferson and Ran- 
dolph— " A Sabath Scene in the South "—The Clergy in the 
Slave States — The National Sacrifice — Some of the Dangers 
Attending My Crusade — Fugitive Slave Laws — My Anti-Slavery 


Leaving Canada, I made my first visit to Peter- 
boro', the home of that noble and sincere friend of 
the poor down-trodden slave, Gerrit Smith. He 
joined hands with me for the crusade against human 
slavery, and ever after remained my faithful and 
sincere friend. Through him, I became acquainted 
with all the active abolitionists of the time, Charles 
Sumner, William Lloyd Garrison, Lucretia Mott, 
Lydia Maria Child, Wendell Phillips and John G. 
Whittier. I had become an extreme abolitionist^ 
determined to do my whole duty. I knew the risk, 
I knew that hatred, slander, malice, and social, relig- 


14 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

ious and professional ostracism would be my portion. 
I knew that no other class of citizens were more 
despised by the rich, the powerful and the influential, 
tlian the despised abolitionists. I knew the path to 
professional preferment, success and influence was 
closed to me, but I felt then as I feel now, that the 
title of " negro thief " so often applied to me at 
that time was a prouder title than any conferred by 
monarchs. I felt then, and I feel now, after the 
lapse of thirty-five years, the approval of my own 
conscience, which is more to me than the fickle ap- 
plause and approval of men. 


Tlie outlook was dark and unpromising, but my 
faitli in the justice of the cause was steadfast, and 
my hope in the future undimmed by the prevailing 
political fogs — and treachery of politicians and 
dough-faced friends. 

In tliirteen great states of the republic human 
slavery existed, and throughout these states men, 
women, and children were bought and sold, just as 
cattle and swine are bought and sold at tlie present 
time. Tliey were deprived of all human rights, 
beaten, abused, outraged and killed at the will and 
pleasure of their owners. Husbands were sold and 
separated from their wives, and children were sold 
and separated rioiii their parents. In fact, four 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 15 

millions of men, women and children, in the slave 
states, possessed no rights that their masters were 
bound to respect. Slavery was the dominant power 
before which all other interests were subordinate. 
The coarsest, blackest, and most brutal tyranny 
prevailed all over that vile south Sodom. No word 
of pity or relief came to the oppressed. No one dare 
utter a word aloud against the institution of slavery^ 
except at peril of life. To teach a slave to read was 
punished with death. A reign of terror prevailed. 
From the sanctum of the editor, the pulpit of the 
preacher, the desk of the teacher, the counting-house 
of the merchant, not a voice was heard on behalf of 
four millions of human beings held in cruel bondage, 
from which there appeared at that time no hope of 
relief. The poor slaves were silent and hopeless ; if 
they looked for help to the so-called free states of 
the republic, they were met by the command, " Ser- 
vants obey your masters." If they fled from bond- 
age, the Federal government stood ready to act the 
part of a policeman for the slave masters, and send 
the fugitive back to slavery. In a majority of the 
northern states a mean, cowardly, servile spirit pre- 
vailed, that bowed and cringed before the haughty 

All the power and influence of the national gov- 
ernment, all the power and influence of the wealthy 
classes, all the social and religious influence of tlie 
clergy and professional classes, were enlisted in 

16 Memoirs of a Refornner. 

positive or negative support of that sodomic insti- 
tution, which made merchandise of the souls and 
bodies of human beings. The press of the north 
was muzzled. The religious Tract Societies, the 
Bible Societies, the Missionary Societies from Ver- 
mont to Texas, were silent or quiescent in the face 
of this giant wrong. 

That was the condition of the American Repub- 
lic in 1855. Its so-called banner of freedom, was a 
flaunting lie, its constitution a compact with Satan, 
its motto a deceitful, lying cant. 

To the selfish and superficial observer of that time 
it appeared as if this arrogant slave power would 
last forever ; entrenched in Federal and State la w 
sustained by the church and all the dominant and 
wealthy classes of the republic, it appeared impreg- 
nable and indestructable. But, wait and see what 
a wonderful transformation was wrought in a few 
short years through the earnest labors of a few com- 
paratively insignificant men and women " who loved 
their neighbors," and obeyed the golden rule. The 
members of this little band of abolitionists were at 
first ridiculed and despised, and treated as ignorant 
fanatics and cranks. 

As they increased in number and daring, they 
were hated, persecuted, outraged, and in many cases 
barbarously murdered. What crime had these men 
committed ? The crime of " doing unto others as 
they would liave others do unto them," the crime 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 17 

of loving liberty better than slavery, the crime of 
teaching that every human being born into this 
world possesses an inalienable right to life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness. 


The number of slaves in the Southern States at 
this period (1856) exceeded four millions, distri- 
buted as follows : Alabama, 445,000; Mississippi, 
486,431 ; South Carolina, 402,406 ; Louisiana, 341,- 
726; Texas, 182.566; Virginia, 490,465; Missouri, 
114,921; Arkansas, 111,115; North Carolina, 331,- 
059: Tennessee, 275,719; Kentucky, 225,483; 
Georgia, 462,198; Florida, 61,745: Delaware, 1,- 
798 ; Maryland, 87,189 ; making a total of more 
than four millions of human beings held in cruel 


Throughout the slave states, slaves were con- 
sidered chattels, and were classed with horses, 
mules, swine, and other domestic animals. The 
slave was subject to his master's disposal. He was 
doomed to toil that others might reap the fruits of 
his unrequited labor. He had no right in things 
real or personal ; he was not ranked among senti- 
ent things, but among things. His wife and his 


18 Me'inoirs of a Reformer. 

offspring belonged to his master, to do as he pleased 
with. There was no law for the slave but his mas- 
ter's whip. In fact, the slave had no right which 
his master was bound to respect. He was bought, 
sold and traded, the same as lands, cattle, and mules 
were bought, sold and traded. That my readers 
may have a clear idea of the status of the slaves, I 
reprint a few advertisements clipped from southern 
papers of that time ; such advertisements were 
usually headed by a cut of a man or woman with 
a bundle on his or her back. The extent and 
cruelty of the inter-state slave trade is well illus- 
trated by an extract from a report printed by the 
Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky in 1851 : " These 
horrid scenes (coffle gangs of slaves) are fi-equently 
occurring in our midst. There is not a neighbor- 
hood in the state where these heartrending scenes 
are not displayed ; there is not a village or road 
that does not behold the sad procession of manacled 
outcasts whose chains and mournful countenances 
tell that they are exiled by force from all that their 
hearts hold dear." 

Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky were the 
breeding states of the south. It has been truly 
said that " the best blood of Virginia runs in the 
veins of her slaves." This remark was equally true 
of Kentucky and Maryland. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 19 


[From N. 0. Picayune.) 

Foster's Slave Depot. 



My two Slave Depots are now open for the reception of 
traders and purchasers. From my numerous correspond- 
ents, I ^have reason to believe that I shall have from four 
to five hundred slaves, for sale, betwoen this and the first of 
November, comprised of every size, age and sex, to suit the 
most critical observer. I am also prepared to accommodate 
Traders with comfortable lodgings and board at very reasonable 
rates. My stock of Slaves is equal if not superior to any 
offered in this market. 

Thankful for past patronage, I earnestly solicit planters and 
the citizens generally, to give me a call before purchasing else- 

N. B. — Slaves bought and sold on commission. 

For Sale. 

Just arrived, with a choice lot of Virginia and caro- 
|LINA NEGROES, consisting of Plantation hands. Black- 
smiths, Carpenters, Cooks, Washers, Ironers, and Seam- 
stresses, and v/ill be receiving fresh supplies during the season, 
which I offer for sale, for cash or approved paper. I have re- 
moved my office from Esplanade to 90 Baronne-street, between 
Union and Perdido-streets, two blocks west of St. Charles 
Hotel. No brokerage paid on the sale of negroes. 


90 Baronne-street, 

20 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Slave Depot. 

195 Gravier and 85 Dryades-streets. 


Having opened my old stand, with considerable ini 
provements, and another house added, I am prepared to 
accommodate for sale from 150 to 200 slaves. Also, good 
accommodation for owners. A good assortment of slaves con- 
stantly on hand for sale, consisting of Field Hands, Mechanics and 
House Servants. Applj^ to C. F. HATCHER, 

195 Gravier and 85 Dryades-streets. 



[N. 0. Picayune, 1859.) 
Probate Sale of Negroes and Plantation, 

BY virtue of an Order issued from the Seventh District Court 
of East Felciina in the above entitled succession, I will sell 
on the premises, on Tuesday, the 20th of December next, the 
following propertj^ belonging to said succession : — 

The plantation, cultivated by the deceased as a cotton planta- 
tion, situated in the parish of Avoyelles, on the Atchafalaya 
River, containing about 742^ acres, together with all the improve- 
ments, consisting of 800 acres of open land, overseer's house, 
([uarters, cisterns, a good gin and mill — the said plantation being 
composed of the tract known as the McMillan tract, and of 
about 157^ acres from the tract known as the Evans tract, bound- 
ed on the east by the Atchafalaya River, north by James H, 
Cason, west by J. L Delee, and south by Turner's Bayou. 

Also the following negroes : 

1. ZiDE, aged about 40 years. 

2. Martin, aged about 55 years. 
o. Fid, aged about 16 years. 

4. WiNNEY, aged about 85 years. 

5. Emeline, aged about 40 years. 
(I. .Jane, aged about IC years. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 21 

7. Alexander, aged about 45 years. 

8. (tEOIige, aged about 28 years. 

9. Antony, aged sbout 26 years. 

10. Harry, aged about 15 years. 

11. Jane, aged about 11 years. 

12. MiLLY, aged about 23 yeirs ; her three children — Dolly, 

4 years, Abe, 2, Polly, 1 month. 

13. Zelphy, aged about 22 years, and her two children — P^m- 

meline, 3 years, Tom, 1 year. 

14. Rhoda, aged 7 years. 

15. Ellen, aged 38 years. 

16. Zach, aged 9 years. 

17. Henry, aged 24 years. 

Also 8 head of mules, stock ot cattle, oxen, hogs and fanning 
utensils on said plantations. 

The said property will be sold in block, or separately, to suit 

TERMS OF sale. 

If sold in block, $6,000 cash ; the balance on a credit of one, 
two, three and four years, the purchase price to bear 8 per cent, 
interest from day of sale, and to be secured by notes, with ap- 
proved personal security, and a mortgage detained on the pro- 

If sold separately, the land on a credit of one, two, three and 
four years, with 8 per cent, interest from day of sale, to be sec- 
ured by note, with approved personal security and mortgage on 
the propert}^ 

The negroes, one-thir 1 cash, the balance on one or two years, 
with 8 per cent, interest from the day of sale, to be secured by 
note; with approved personal security and mortgage on the pro- 

The mules, farming utensils, stock, etc., on a credit of twelve 
months, with 8 per cent, interest from day of sale, to be secured 
by note, with approved personal security, for all sums over SI 00; 
for all sums under $100, cash. 

Persons desiring to examine the plantation before the sale, can 

22 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

do so by calling on the manager of the place, or communicating 

with R. J. Bowman, at Clinton, La. 

Sheriff's Office, Marksville, this 21st day of October, A.D. 



Sheriff and ex-officio Public Auctioneer. 


In the Charleston Mercury, the leading political paper of South 
Carolina, appeared the following advertisement : 

*' Negroes foe. Sale. — A girl about twenty years of age, raised 
in Virginia, and her two female children, one four and the other 
two years old — is remarkably strong and healthy, never having 
had a day's sickness, with the exception of the small-pox, in her 
life. The children are fine and healthy. She is very ijrolific in 
her generating qualities, and affords a rare opportunity to any 
person ivho wishes to raise a family of healthy servants for their 
own use. Any person wishing to purchase will please leave their 
address at the Mercury office." 

Another infamous advertisement, from the Richmond, Va., 
Despatch, reads as follows : 

For Sale— An accomplished and handsome lady's maid. She 
is just turned IG years of age, nearly white, was reared in a 
genteel family in Maryland, and is now for sale, not for any 
fault, but simply because the owner has no further use for her." 


"Negroes for Sale. — A negro woman, 24 years of age, and 
her two children, one 8 and the other 3 years old. Said negroes 
will be sold sejtarately or together, as desired. 

[From N. Picayune, 1857.) 
One Hi ndred Dollars Reward.— Ran a-way from my 
plantation on Tensas River, in the parish of Catahoula, 
Louisiana, on the 22nd of September last, four negroes : 

Mernoirs of a Reformer. 28 

Bill Prime, dark griff, about 25 years old, weighs about 165 
pounds ; speaks slowly and stammers a little when confused ; 
hair tolerably long and straight. 

Richard, about 26 years of age, weighs 145 pounds, of dark 
complexion ; has a large scar on the left cheek and one on the 
chin, same side of face, 

Tom Simms, about 25 years old ; weighs about 150 pounds ; 
dark complexion ; when he left had a small goatee under the 

Gus Simms, about 18 years old; weighs about 120 pounds ; 
dark complexion, slim, and rather delicate in appearance. 

I will pay the above reward if the above-named slaves are 
lodged in jail where I can get them, or $25 for either one of them. 

They may probably try to make their way to the Free States, 
and may state that they belong to Sam Btiford, my overseer, or 
toW. L. Campbell, of New Orleans, from whom I bought them. 

Of the firm of Gillis & Ferguson 

One Hundred Dollars Reward. — Ran away from the 
undersigned, on or abont the 18th of July, 1857, a negro 
man named Peyton (calls himself Peyton Randolph), aged 
26 years, five feet seven inches high, weighs 150 pounds ; he is 
genteel in his appearance, and can read and write. The above 
reward will be paid to any one who will have him lodged in jail, 
so that he can be recovered, or who will deliver him to Mr. John 
Ermon, on the corner of Race and Camp streets in this city. 

M. C. HALE, 
Constance, near Second-street. 

Twenty-Five Dollars Reward. — Ran away from the 
^subscriber, on the 29th of October, Mii?souRi or Ann, a 
very likely griffe, aged 15 years, and about oh feet high ; 
figure rather slender. She was barefooted, and had on a brown 
calico dress. She is refined and plausible in her manner and 
language, and unacquainted in the city. 

Cor. Annunciation and Jackson streets. 

24 Mer}ioirs of a Reformer. 

{From the Richmond, Va., Whig.) 

' ' One Hundred Dollars Reward will be given for the ap- 
prehension of my negro, Edmund Kenney. He has straight 
hair, and complexion so nearly white that it is believed a stranger 
would suppose that there was no African blood in him. He was 
with my boy Dick a short time since, in Norfolk, and offered 
him for sale, and was apprehended, but escaped under pretence 
of being a white man." 

"Two Hundred Dollars Reward. — Ran away from the 
subscriber, last November, a white negro man, about 35 years 
old, hefght about five feet eight or ten inches, blue eyes, has a 
yellow woolly head, very fair skin. 

"P. 8. — Said man has a good-shaped foot and leg; and his 
foot is very small and hollow." 

T^^'ENTY Dollars Reward. — Ran away from the subscriber, 
on the 14th instant, a negro girl named Molly. She is 16 or 17 
years of age, slim made, lately branded on her left cheek, thus, 
" A\" and a piece is taken off her ear on the same side ; the same 
letter is branded on the inside of both her legs. 


Fairfield District, S.C. 

{From the Georgia Messenger.) 

"Runaway. — My man George; has holes in his ears; is 
marked on the back with the whip ; has been shot in the legs ; 
has a scar on the forehead." 

{From the Wilmington, N.G., Advertiser.) 

"Ran away, my negro man Richard. A reward of twenty- 
five dollars will be paid for his apprehension, dead or alive. 
Satisfactory proof only will be required of his being killed. 
He has with him, in all probability, his wife Eliza, who ran away 
from Colonel Tliompson. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 25 

(From the Savannah Republican. ) 
" Fifty Dollars Rem^ard. — Ran away from the subscriber, 
on the 22nd ult. , my negro man Albert, who is twenty-seven 
years old, very white, so much so, that he would not he suspected of 
heinq a ne(jro. Has blue eyes, and very light hair. Wore, when 
he left, a long thin beard, and rode a chestnut sorrel horse, with 
about $10 belonging to himself. 

" He is about five feet eight inches high, and weighs about 140 
pounds. Has a very humble and meek appearance ; can neither 
read nor write, and is a very kind and amiable fellow ; speaks 
much like a low country negro. He has, no doubt, been led off 
by so7ne miserable wretch during my absence in New York." 

A letter in a Vicksburg, Miss., paper, of June, 1857, from a 
planter, contained the following passage: " I can tell you how 
to break a negro of running away. When I catch a runaway 
negro I tie him down and pull one of his toe nails out by the 
roots, and tell him if he ever runs away again I will pull out 
two of them. I never have to do it more than once. It cures 


Blood Hounds were used to track runaway slaves, 
especially in thick woods or in swamps, where the 
poor wretches would live in caves or among the 
rocks, to elude the pursuit of their cruel taskmas- 
ters. Many died of exposure and starvation, rather 
than return to their owners, to be whipped and 
branded with red-hot irons. I clipped the follow- 
ing advertisements from Southern papers : 

"Blood Hounds. — The undersigned, having bought the en- 
tire pack of negro dogs (of the Hay & Allen stock) he now pro- 
poses to catch runaway negroes. His charges will be three dol- 
lars a day for hunting, and fifteen dollars for catching a runaway. 

26 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

He resides three and one-half miles north of Livingston, near 

the lower Jones' Bluff Koad. 

"William Gambrel." 

"Notice. — The subscriber, living on Carroway Lake, on Hoes' 
Bayou, in Carroll parish, sixteen miles on the road leading from 
Bayou Mason to Lake Providence, is ready with a pair of dogs to 
hunt runaway negroes at any time. These dogs are well trained, 
and are known tliroughout the parish. Letters addressed to me 
at Providence, will secure immediate attention. My terms are 
five dollais per day for hunting the trails, wdiether the negro is 
caught or not. Where a twelve hours' trail is shown, and the 
negro not taken, no charge is made. For taking a negro, twenty- 
five dollars, and no charge made for hunting. 

"James W. Hall." 


The value of bloodhounds to the slave-hunters 
may be inferred from the following quotation of 
prices taken from a Columbia, S. C, paper : 

"Mr. J. L. Bryan, of Moore county, sold at auction, on the 
20th instant, a pack of ten bloodhounds, trained for hunting run- 
away negroes, for the sum of $1,540. The highest price paid 
for any one dog was $801 ; the lowest price, $75 ; average for 
the ten, $154."' 

Bloodhounds are larger and more compact than 
ordinary hounds, with hair straight and sleek as 
that of the finest race horse, colored between yel- 
low and brown, short-eared, rather long-nosed, and 
})uilt for scenting, quick action and speed. They 
can take a scent three days old and run it down- 
Tlu'ii- speed is about equal to, and their endurance 

Memoirs of a Refovmer. 27 

much greater than, a greyhound. Their bark re- 
sembles neither that of a bulldog, cur, nor hound, 
but is a yelp like a wolf's. Their bite is a wolf-like 
snap, not the hold-fast grip of a bulldog. The 
" catch dog " used in slavery times on Southern 
plantations in capturing runaway slaves, looked like 
a cross between a Newfoundland and bull of large 
and powerful build. 


The overseer or hunter mounts a fleet horse, holds 
his " catch " dog by a chain, and turns loose the 
hounds. Circling round, they strike the scent and 
soon lead off, their fast receding yelps marking the 
rapidity of the chase. The horseman follows over 
fences through timber and swamp as best he can, 
holding his " catch dog in leash." Hounds sighting 
the negro, divide, form a semi-circle, and>^rapidly 
draw it into a large circle around him. As the pur- 
sued wretch runs, the dogs in front of him fall back, 
but preserve their equi-distant place in the circle 
which they are gradually closing. On nearing him 
they snap at his legs, but do not spring at his throat. 
As the circle narrows, the hunter arrives. The 
ominous sound of the chains' rattle, like the warning 
note of the serpent, strikes the negro's ears. The 
" catch dog " springs upon the exhausted runaway 
and holds him, hounds are clubbed away, the fugi- 
tive secured, dogs leashed, and the hunt is over. 

28 Memoirs of a Beforiner 


Special laws existed for recapturing escaped 
slaves at any cost of life to the victims, by first pro- 
claiming them outlaws. The following legal instru- 
ment, with its accompaniments, will suffice to show 
the ^^'ay : 

State of North Carolina, 
Lenoir County. 

Whereas complaint hath this day been made to 
us, two of the Justices of the Peace for the said 
county, by William D. Cobb, of Jones county, 
that two negro slaves belonging to him, named 
Ben (commonly knovrn by the name of Ben Fox), 
and Rigden, have absented themselves from their 
said master's service, and are lurking about in the 
counties of Lenoir and Jones, committing acts of 
felony — these are, in the name of the state, to 
command the said slaves forthwith to surrender 
themseh'es auvd return home to their said master. 
And we do hereby, by virtue of an act of the As- 
sembly of this state, concerning servants and slaves, 
intimate and declare if the said slaves do not sur- 
render themselves and return home to their master 
immediately after the publication of these presents, 
that any pei'son may kill and destroy said slaves 
by such means as he or they think fit, without ac- 
cusation or impeachment of any crime or offence for 
so doing, without incurring an}- penalty or for- 
feiture thereby. 

Given under our liands an(.l seals, this 12th day 
of November, 185(). 

B. Coleman, J.P. (seal.) 
James Jones, J.P. (seal.) 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 29 

The following was the law in reference to recap- 
turing slaves in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Ar- 
kansas, and Louisiana : " If any slave shall happen 
to he slain for refusing to surrender him or herself, 
or in resisting any person who shall endeavor to ap- 
prehend such slave or slaves, such person so killing 
sucli slave as aforesaid making resistance, shall be 
nnd is by this Act indemnified from any prosecution 
for such killing." 


The newspapers of the slave states in 1855-6-7 
teemed with advertisements descriptive of runaway 
slaves. One had been " lacerated with a whip " — 
another, " severely bruised "—another, " a great 
many scars from the lash "—another, " several large 
scars An his back from severe whipping " — another 
" had an iron collar on his neck with a prong turn- 
ed down — another has a " drawing chain fastened 
around his ankle" — another "was much marked 
with a branding iron" — another, a negress, "had an 
iron band around her neck," &:c., &c. All these bru- 
talities w-ere permitted, if not authorized, by the 
slave code. Then came another class, which, if not 
authorized by law, were frequent and not prohibit- 
ed : "Mary has a sore on her back and right arm, 
caused by a rifle ball"— another, " branded on the 
left jaw "—another, " has a soar across his breast 
and each arm, made by a knife : loves to talk of the 

30 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

goodness of God" — " Sam has a sword cut lately 
received on his left arm " — Fanny has a scar on her 
left eye ; a good many teeth missing ; the letter ' A ' 
branded with red-hot iron on her left cheek and 
forehead " — another, " scarred with the bites of 
dogs." " Runawa}^ — A negro woman and two chil- 
dren. A few days before she went off I burnt her 
with a hot iron on the left side of her face — I tried 
to make the letter ' M.' Rachel had three toe nails 
pulled out." 

I could fill many pages with similar extracts from 
advertisements in papers and from handbills, in cir- 
culation in the slave states, in the old dark days. 
One case that came under my personal observation 
in Alabama, is only a specimen of many others that 
I could mention of a similar nature. 

A Methodist local preacher, a slave owner, pro- 
posed illicit intercourse with a young female slave. 
She refused, he sent her to the overseer to be wliip- 
ped, again she refused, and he sent her again to be 
whipped, again she refused, and again was whipped. 
He then ordered her to be branded on the cheek, 
with a red-hot iron, then she yielded to this adul- 
terous wretch, who had not overstepped the limits 
of the slave laws of Alabama. In fact, the poor 
downtrodden slaves suffered all that wanton, grasp- 
ing avarice, brutal lust, malignant spite, and insane 
anger, could inflict. Their happiness was the sport 
of every whim, and the prey of every passion. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 31 

Slavery was the cause of more suffering, than has 
followed from any other cause since the world 

I was present at the burial of a female slave in 
Mississippi, who had been whipped to death by her 
master, for some trifling offence. While she was 
undergoing the punishment, she gave birth to a dead 
child, and mother and child were wrapped in old 
linen bagging and laid in the same grave — free at 


Thomas Jefferson, the author of the " Declaration 
of Independence," made a clause to his last will, con- 
ferring freedom on his own slave offspring, as far 
as the Slave Code of Virginia permitted him to do 
it, supplying the lack of power by " humbly im- 
ploring the Legislature of Virginia to confirm the 
bequests with permission to remain in the state, 
where their families and connections are." Two of 
his daughters by an octoroon female slave were 
taken from Virginia to New Orleans, after Jeffer- 
son's death, and sold in the slave market at $1,500 
each, to be used for unmentionable purposes. Both 
these unfortunate children of the author of the De- 
claration of Independence were quite white, their 
eyes blue and their hair long, soft, and auburn in 

32 Meinoirs of a Reformer. 

Both were highly educated and accomplished. The 
youngest daughter escaped from her master and 
committed suicide by drowning herself to escape 
the horrors of her position. 

A land of liberty for white people, for slave- 
holders, was it, where Jefferson could not bequeath 
liberty to his own children ? In Georgia, had he 
lived and died there, the " attempt " would have 
been an " offence " for which his estate would have 
been subjected to a fine of one thousand dollars, and 
each of his executors, if accepting the trust, a thous- 
and more. In one of his letters Jefferson^says, 
" when the measure of the slaves' tears, is full, when 
their groans have involved heaven itself in darkness, 
doubtless a God of justice will listen to their distress." 


John Randolph of Roanoke, one of the signers of 
the Declaration of Independence, and a native of 
Virginia, says : — "Avarice alone can drive, as it does 
drive, this infernal traffic, and the wretched victims 
of it, like so many post-horses, whipped to death in 
a mail-coach." 

'•' Ambition has its cover-sluts in the pride, pomp, 
and circumstance of glorious war, but where are 
the trophies of avarice ? The handcuff, the manacle 
the blood-stained cowhide ! What man is worse re- 
ceived in society for being a hard master ? Who 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 33 

denies the right of a daughter or sister to such 
monsters ? " (Speech in Congress.) 

Study this picture. Wholesale murder, barbarism 
and cruelty. The general prevalence of these in the 
highest circles, and no one regarding the perpetrators 
the worse for it, or shrinking back from the closest 
family affinity with the monsters ! 


Every clergyman in the Slave States, either 
openly or passively, upheld human slavery. They 
maintained that slavery was a wise and benefi- 
cent institution devised by God for the protection 
and welfare of the negro race. These reverend 
pro-slavery champions resembled the priests of 
Juggernaut recommending the worship of their god 
by pointing to the wretches writhing and shrieking 
and expiring under his car. From a pro-slavery 
pamphlet, published by the Reverend James Smiley 
of the Amita Presbytery, Mississippi, I extract the 
following : " If slavery be a sin, and if the buying, 
selling and holding a slave be a sin, then three- 
fourths of all the Episcopalians, Methodists, Bap- 
tists and Presbyterians of eleven states of this 
union are of the devil. They not only buy and 
sell slaves, but they arrest and restore runaway 

slaves, and justify their conduct by the Bible." 


34 Me'inoirs of a Reformer. 


Scarce had the solemn Sabbath bell 
Ceased quivering in the steeple ; 

Scarce had the parson to the desk 
Walked stately through his people, 

When down the summer shaded street 

A wasted female figure, 
With dusky brow and naked feet. 

Came rushing wild and eager. 

She saw the white spire through the trees, 
She heard the sweet hymn swelling ; 

0, pitying Christ ! a refuge give. 
That poor one in Thy dwelling. 

Like a scared fawn before the hounds 

Right up the aisle she glided ; 
While close behind her, whip in hand, 

A lank-haired hunter glided. 

She raised a keen and bitter cry. 
To Heaven and Earth appealing ; 

Were manhood's generous pulses dead ? 
Had woman's heart no feeling ? 

" Who dares profane this hour and day ? " 

Cried out the angry pastor ; 
" Why, bless your soul, the wench's a slave, 

And I'm her lord and master ! 

"I've law and gospel on my side, 

And who shall dare refuse me ? " 

Down came the parson, bowing low, 

" My good sir, pray, excuse me ! 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 35 

' * Of course I know your right divine, 
To own, and work, and whip her ; 
Quick, deacon, throw that Polyglot 
Before the wench, and trip her ! " 

Plump dropped the holy tome, and o'er 

Its sacred pages stumbling ; 
Bound hand and foot, a slave once more. 

The hapless wretch lay trembling. 

I saw the parson tie the knot, 

The while his flock addressing ; 
The Scriptural claims of slavery. 

With text on text impressing. 

Shriek rose on shriek — the Sabbath air 

Her wild cries tore asunder ; 
1 listened with hushed breath to hear 

God answer with His thunder. 

All still ! — the very altar's cloth 

Had smothered down her shrieking ; 
I saw her dragged along the aisle, 

Her shackles loudly clanking. 

My brain took fire ; " Is this ," I cried, 

The end of prayer and preaching ? 
Then down with pulpit ; down with priest. 

And give us Nature's teaching ! 



No wonder it required an army of two millions 
of men (half of whom were slain) to rid the land 
of such a monstrous curse as human slavery. From 
the torture dens of the outraged, bruised and 

86 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

beaten slaves the prayer for justice had reached 
tlie '• g-od of battles," and the command had gone 
forth to that vile South Sodom to "let the op- 
pressed go free," and slavery with its whips, fet- 
ters, chains, bloodhounds and red-hot branding 
irons, was swept aAvay in rivers of blood. 


In all the Slave States there were laws for the en- 
forcement of severe penalties for interference with 
the institution of slavery. Senator Preston of Vir- 
ginia declared in his place in the V. S. Senate that 
" any person uttering abolition sentiments in the 
Slave States would be hanged." In Louisiana the 
laws read as follows : " If any person shall in any 
language hold any conversation tending to pro- 
mote discontent among the slaves, he may be im- 
prisoned from three to twent}^ years ; or he may 
suffer death at the direction of the court." In 
Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi tlie same laws 
existed. In North Carolina, the pillory and wliip- 
ping for the first offence, and death for the second 
offence. In Virginia, for the first offence, thirt}^- 
nine lashes; the second offence, death. 

From Gerrit Smith I obtained much valuable 
and interesting information as to the workings of 
tlu; different organizations having for their object 
the libt'ratyion IVoni bond.Mi^c of tlu' slaves of the 

Memoirs of <(■ Reformer. ^1 

South. He accompanied me to Boston, Kew York. 
Philadelphia and Longwood, the home of Hannah 
Cox, whose liouse was always open to the pooi" 
slaves flying from their pursuers, and whose heart 
warmly sympatliised with every means for the 
liberation of the oppressed. 

During- these visits I became acfjuainted with 
many liberty-loving men and women, whose thiie, 
talents, and means were devoted to the cause of 
freedom. The contact with such earnest minds, 
imbued with an undying hatred and detestation of 
tliat foul blot on the escutchon of their country, 
served to strengthen my resolution and fortify me 
for tiie labor before me. I was initiated into a 
knowledge of the methods to circulate information 
among the slaves of the South : the routes to be 
taken, after reaching the so-called Free States, and 
the relief posts, where shelter and aid for transpor- 
tation could be obtained. My excellent friend also 
accompanied me to Ohio and Indiana, where I made 
the personal acquaintance of friends in those states 
who at risk of life and property gave shelter to the 
fugitives, and assisted them to reach Canada. - 

The Rev. O. B. Frothingham, in his Hfe of (^errit 
Smith, says : 

"Alexander jVJ. Ross, of Canada, whose reiiiarkable exploits 
in running off slaves caused such consternation in the southern 
states, was in communication with Gerrit Smith from first to 
last, was aided by him in his preparation with information and 

88 Memoirs of a Reformer, 

counsel, and had a close understanding with him in regard to his 
course of procedure. Both these men made the rescue of slaves 
a personal matter." 


The poor fugitive^who had run the gauntlet of 
slave hunters and bloodhounds, was not safe even 
after he had crossed the boundary line between the 
Slave and the Free States, for the slave drivers of 
the South and their allies, the democrats of the 
North, controlled the United States Government at 
that time, and^under the provisions of the iniquit- 
ous " Fugitive Slave law," the North was compelled 
to act as a^police officer, for the capture and return 
to slavery of fugitives from the Slave States. 


While there existed among all true abolitionists a 
sincere desire to aid the oppressed people of the 
Slave States, there was much diversity of opinion as 
to the means to be adopted for their liberation from 

Garrison, Whittier, Lucre tia Mott, and all the 
members of the Society of Friends, were opposed to 
violent measures, such as would result in bloodshed. 
Their efforts were confined to the public discussion 
of the wrongs of the slave, and the iniquity and in- 
justice of human slavery. On the other hand, Ger- 
rit Smith, Theodore Parker, Joshua R. Giddings, 

Memoirs of a Reforvier. 39 

John Brown, and many others, equally sincere and 
noble men and women, actively or passively aided 
and abetted every effort to liberate the slaves from 
their bondage. It is almost needless for me to say 
that, while I sympathized with every man and 
woman who desired the freedom of the slave, my 
views accorded with those who believed human 
slavery to be such a monstrous wrong and injustice, 
that any measure, no matter how violent, was justi- 
fiable in so holy a cause as the liberation of those 
held in bondage. 


The principles that animated, impelled, and con- 
trolled my actions as an abolitionist, may briefly be 
summed up as follows: — 

1. That every innocent human being has an in- 
alienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of 

2. That no government, nation, or individual, has 
any right to deprive an innocent human being of 
his or her inalienable rights. 

3. That a man held against his will as a slave has 
a natural right to kill every one who seeks to pre- 
vent his enjoyment of liberty. 

4. That it is the natural right of a slave to de- 
velop this right in a practical manner, and actually 
kill all those who seek to prevent his enjoyment of 


Memoirs oj a Reformer. 

5. That the freeman has a natural right to help 
the slaves to recover their liberty, and in that en- 
terprise to do for them all which they have a right 
to do for themselves. 

6. That it is the natural duty of a freeman to 
help the slaves to the enjoyment of this liberty, and 
as a means to that end, to aid them in killing all 
such as oppose their natural right to freedom. 

7. That the performance of this duty is to be con- 
trolled only by the freeman's power and opportun- 
ity to help the slaves. 


*^ Remember them in bonds. 



Agent of the Underground Railway — Into the Land of Bondage 
— On Guard — Seven Candidates for Freedom —Startling News 
— Twelve Hundred Dollars Reward — A Poor Negro Spurns the 
Reward — A Female Fugitive — Safe on the Soil of Canada — 
— Meet with John Brown — His Disappointments — "Old 
Brown's Farewell " — Character of John Brown — News from 
the South — Keeping Quiet— Off to Nev\ Orleans — At Work in 
the Gulf States— Near Vicksburg — Sowing Seed at Selma — 
Into the Jaws of Death — Manacled and in Prison — A Desper- 
ate Situation — Fidelity of a Slave — Released — Two Passengers 
by Underground Railway— Leave for Other Fields^ — At Work 
Near Augusta — Fidelity of the Quakers — Eleven Followers of 
the North Star — Exciting News — In Washington — Fugitives 
from Alabama. 


In Philadelphia I made the necessary preparations 
for my work in the Southern States. My ^ood 
friend Gerrit Smith was my faithful and principal 
supporter in this my first efi^ort to help the slaves 
to freedom. 

In undertaking this mission I did not, disguise 
from myself the dangers I would most certainly 
have to encounter, and the certainty that a speedj^ 
and perhaps cruel death would be my lot, in case 
my plans and purposes were discovered. And not 


42 Mnnoirs of <i Ucforiner. 

only would my life be exposed, but the lives of those 
I sought to help. My anti-slavery friends in Boston 
and Philadelphia warned me of the dangers that 
were in my path and some of them urged me to 
seek other and less dangerous channels wherein to 
aid the oppressed. 

I felt convinced, however, that the only eifectual 
way to help the slaves was to aid them to escape 
from bondage. To accomplish that it was necessary 
to go to them, advise them, and give them practical 
assistance. For, with but few exceptions, the slaves 
were in absolute ignorance of everything beyond 
the boundary of their plantation or town. The cir- 
culation of information among the oppressed would 
also tend to excite a spirit of inquiry and create a 
feeling of independence which ultimately might 
lead to insurrection, and the destruction of the in- 
stitution of slavery in the United States. Before 
leaving Philadelphia, it was mutually arranged be- 
tween my friends and myself, in respect to confiden- 
tial correspondence, that the term " hardware " was 
to signify males and " dry goods " females. I was 
to notify my friend in Philadelphia (if possible) 
whenever a package of " hardware " or of " dry 
goods '' was started for freedom, and lie in turn 
warned the friends in Ohio and Pennsylvania to be 
on the lookout for runaways. My name was drop- 
ped, and others assumed to meet the emergency of 
the occasion. My connnunications with the outside 

Merriom of a Reformer. 43 

world were in cipher and confined to one individual 
with many names. Tliese precautions were deemed 
absolutely necessary for my personal safety and suc- 
cess in my hazardous task. My appearances and 
disappearances were so uncertain and mysterious 
that my northern friends were accustomed to call 
me the " Man of Mystery," while in the south a 
much more sulphurous title was accorded me. 


Fully equipped, I crossed the Potomac and entered 
the land of bondage. On my arrival in Richmond 
I went to the house of a gentleman to whom I had 
been directed and who was known at the north to 
be an abolitionist. 

I spent a few days in quietly determining upon 
the best plans to adopt. 


Having finally decided upon my course, I invited 
a number of the most intelligent, active, and re- 
liable slaves to meet me at the house of a colored 
preacher, on a Sunday evening. 


On the night appointed, forty-two slaves came to 
hear what prospect there was for their escape from 

44 Memoirs of a Reforiner, 

bondage. I took each by the hand, asked their 
name, age and whether married or single. 

I had never before at one time seen so many colored 
men together, and I was struck \Wth their individ- 
uality and general kindness and consideration for 
each other. I explained to them my object and 
purpose in visiting the Slave States, the various 
routes from Virginia to Ohio and Pennsylvania, and 
the names oi friends in border towns who would 
help them on to Canada. I requested them to cir- 
culate this information discreetly among all upon 
whom they could rely. Thus each of my hearers 
went forth an agent in the good work. I then told 
them that if any of their number desired to make 
the attempt to gaiipi their freedom, in tlie face of all 
the obstacles and dangers in their path, to come to 
the same house on the following Sunday evening, 
prepared to take the " underground railroad " to 


On the evening appointed, nine stout, intelligent 
young men had declared their determination to gain 
their freedom or die in the attempt. I careful!}" 
explained to them the route and the names of 
friends along the border upon wliom they could 
rel}^ for shelter and assistance. I never met more 
apt students than these poor fellows, and their " yes 

Memoirs of a Reforiner. 45 

massa, I know it now" was assurance that they did. 
They were only to travel by night, resting in some 
secure spot during the day. 

Their route was to be through Pennsylvania or 
Ohio, to Erie, or Cleveland, on Lake Erie, and from 
thence across the Lake to Canada. I bid them good- 
bye with an anxious heart, for well I knew the 
dangers they would have to encounter. I learned 
many months after that they all had arrived safely 
in Canada. Three of these brave fellows enlisted in 
a colored regiment, for service in the war that gave 
freedom to their race. Two of my Richmond pupils 
were married men, and left behind wives and child- 
ren. The wife of one made her escape, and reached 
Canada within six months after her husband gained 
his liberty. 


The day following the departure of my little band 
of fuOTtives from Richmond, I left for Nashville, in 
the State of Tennessee, which I decided should be 
my next field of labor. On arriving in Nashville 
I went direct to the residence of a Quaker lady 
well-known for her humane and charitable disposi- 
tion toward the colored people. When I informed 
her of my success in Richmond, and that I intended 
to pursue the same course in Nashville, she express- 
ed great anxiety for my safety, but finding that I 
was determined to make the attempt, she sent for 

46 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

an old free negro and advised me to trust him im- 
plicitly. This good man was nearly eighty years of 
age, and had the confidence of all the colored people 
for miles around Nashville. He lived a short dis- 
tance outside the city limits. At his house he preach- 
ed to such of the slaves as were disposed and could 
attend every Sunday evening. I requested him to 
invite as many reliable and intelligent slaves as he 
could to meet at his house on the next Sunday 
evening. On the evening appointed, thirteen fine 
able-bodied men assembled to see and hear an abol- 
itionist. Never have I met more intelligent looking 
colored men than those that composed my little 
audience on that occasion : their ages ranged from 
eighteen to thirty. Some were very black, while 
others were mulattoes, and two of them had straight 
hair and were light-coloured. 


My host volunteered to stand guard outside the 
house to prevent interruption and to intercept any 
unfriendly or evil-minded callers. I talked to my 
hearers earnestly and practically, explaining the con- 
dition and prospects of the colored people in Cana- 
da, and the oVjstacles and dangers they would have 
to encounter on tlie way to tliat land of refuge. No 
lecturer ever had a more intensely earnest audience 
than I had that evening. I gathered the brave fel- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 47 

lows around me so that I could look each in the 
face and give emphasis to my instructions. In con- 
clusion I told them that I should remain in Nash- 
ville until after the following Sunday evening, when 
as many as felt disposed to make the attempt to 
gain their freedom would find me at the same house 
at 9 p.m. I requested those who decided to leave 
on that night to inform their old friends before the 
next Friday, that I might make some necessary 
provision for their long and perilous journey. 

Early in the week I received word from five, and 
by Friday evening two more had decided to make 
the attempt to obtain the precious boon of liberty. 
At nine o'clock on the Sunday evening appointed I 
was promptly at the house of my friend. He again 
/stood guard. It was nearly 10 o'clock when I heard 
the signal agreed upon, " scratching upon the door," 
I unlocked the door, when in stepped four men, fol- 
lowed soon after by three others ; they were all 
married. I asked each if he had fully determined to 
make the attempt, and receiving an affirmative re- 
ply I again carefully explained to them the routes 
to be taken, the dangers they might exp'ect to en- 
counter, and the friends upon whom they could call 
for aid. 


At midnight I bade them good-bye and these 
brave-hearted fellows witji tears in their eyes and 

48 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

hearts swelling with hope, started for the land of 
freedom. I advised them to travel by night only, 
and to keep together if possible. 

Next morning I called upon my Quaker friend, 
and informed her of the reault of my labors in 
Nashville. She expressed her delight and satisfac- 
tion. But feared for my safety if I remained in the 
city after the escape of the slaves became known. 


As I was passing the post office a man handed 
me a small printed bill which announced the escape 
of thirteen slaves from Richmond, but nine only 
were described, together with the names of their 
owners. A reward of $1000 was offered for their 
capture and return to Richmond. I now^ thought 
it time to leave for other fields of labor. 

Early next day I bade farewell to my kind 
Quaker friend and started for Memphis. On my 
arrival there I sought the house of an anti-slavery 
man to whom I liad been directed. He was absent 
from liome, but liis goorl wife received me kindly 
and urged me to make Iier liouse my home during 
my stay in the city. I felt, however, that I liad no 
right to expose the family to trouble and suspicion 
in case I got into difficulty. I conse(|uently Went 
to a hotel ; being tired and weary laid down on a 
couch to rest, and must have fallen asleep, fori was 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 49 

aroused by the shouting of a newsboy under my 
window. The burthen of his cry was the escape of 
several slaves from Nashville in one night. I raised 
the window and told the boy to bring a paper to 
my room. It contained the following item of in- 
terest to me : — 


" Great excitement in Nashville ; escape of seven 
first-class slave men by the aid of an abolitionist, 
who has been seen in the city for several days. 
Three hundred dollars reward is ottered for the 
capture and return of each of the slaves, and twelve 
hundred dollars for the apprehension of the ' ac- 
cursed abolitionist.' " Then followed a description 
of the slaves, and a very good description of my- 
self, considering that I kept very close during my 
stay in Nashville. At a glance I saw the danger 
of my position, and determined to leave the hotel 
at once. Returning to the house I had first visited, 
I made enquiries for the residence of a colored man 
upon whom my colored friend in Nashville told me 
I could rely. Having received the proper direction, 
I went to his humble dwelling and was cordially 
welcomed on mentioning the name of his old friend 
at Nashville. 

50 Memuivfi of a Beformcr. 


He was a fine-looking man, witli honest eyes, 
open countenance, and of nioi-e than ordinary in- 
telligence for one of his race. I handed him the 
paper and pointed to the reward for my apprehen- 
sion. When he read it, he grasped my hand, and 
said, " Massa, I'll die for you ; what shall we do ? " 

The paper which contained the exciting news 
also contained the announcement that a steamer 
would leave for St. Louis that night at nine o'clock. 
It was now three. Six long hours to remain in the 
very jaws of death ! 

I determined to leave, if possible, on that steam- 
er, and asked permission to remain in his house 
until the arrival of the boat. The noble fellow 
placed his house and all he possessed at my com- 


This poor despised negro held in his hand a paper 
offering a reward of 81,200 for my capture. He 
was a laboring man, earning his bread by the sweat 
of his brow, and yet I felt perfectly safe, and im- 
plicitly trusted this poor negro with my life. In 
fact, I felt safer in his house than I should have 
felt in the house of a certain vice-president of the 
United States, who in more recent times sold him- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 51 

self for a similar amount. This poor oppressed 
negro had everything to gain by surrendering me 
into the hands of the slave-masters, and yet he 
spurned the reward, and was faithful to the trust I 
reposed in him. On many occasions 1 have placed 
my life in the hands of colored men without the 
slightest hesitation or fear of betrayal. 


Night was approaching and my friend suggested 
the propriety of changing my dress. While engaged 
making these alterations, I overheard an animated 
conversation in an adjoining room between my host 
and a female. The woman earnestly begged him to 
ask me to take her to Canada where her husband 
then was. The poor man told her my life was 
already in great danger, and if she was seen with 
me it would render my escape more difficult, but 
still she continued to beg. When I had completed 
my change of appearance, he came into the room 
and told me that a slave woman who had lately 
fled from her master on account of his cruelty to 
her was in the house and wished to speak to me. 
She was a light mulatto of bright, intelligent ap- 
pearance. She told me of the escape of her hus- 
band to Canada about two years previously and her 
master's cruelty in beating her because she refused, 
to marry a negro whom he had selected for her 

52 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

She showed me her back which was still raw and 
seamed with gashes where the lash of her cruel 
master's whip had ploughed up her flesh. She 
earnestly besought me to take her to Canada, I 
determined to make the attempt, and told my 
host to dress her in male attire, that she might 
accompany me in the capacity of 'valet. The poor 
woman was soon ready for the journey. I named 
her " Sam," and myself Mr. Smith, of Kentucky. 
At half past eight, p.m., we left the house of my 
faithful friend for the boat, " Sam " walking behind 
me and carrying my valise. Through some cause 
or other, the boat was detained until near eleven 
o'clock. Oh what hours of misery ! Every minute 
filled with apprehensions of disaster not only to 
myself but to the poor fugitive depending on me. 
No one not similarly placed can imagine the 
anxiety and dread that filled my mind during this 
long delay. The moments passed so slowly that 
they seemed hours. " Sam" stood near me looking 
as anxious as I felt. At length we got aboard the 
boat. I secured tickets for myself and servant for 
St. Louis, and when the boat left the levee I 
breathed freer than I had done for several hours. 
I reached St. Louis" without the occurrence of any 
incident of importance and sent a telegram to my 
friend in Philadelphia to be on the lookout for 
"hardware" from Tennessee. Resting in St. Louis 
for a few hours I left for Chicago, accompanied 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 53 

by my happy valet whose frequent question, "Massa, 
is we near Canada yet ? " kept me continually on 
the alert to prevent our exposure. 


When we reached Chicago I took my servant to 
the house of an abolitionist, where she was properly 
cared for. It was deemed prudent that she should 
wear male attire until she reached Canada, for it 
occasionally happened that fugitives were caught in 
Detroit, and taken back to bondage after having 
come in sight of the land of promise. Their prox- 
imity to a safe refuge from their taskmasters, and 
from the operations of the infamous Fugitive Slave 
Law, rendered them careless in their manner, and 
so happy in appearance, that they were frequently 
arrested on suspicion by the minions of the United 
States Government, ever on the watch to obey the 
behests of the slave power. After a few hours' 
rest in Chicago, I left with my charge for Detroit, 
where I arrived in due time on the following day, 
and taking a hack, drove to a friend's house in the 
suburbs of the city. Here I made arrangements to 
be rowed across th»j river to Canada, as soon as 
darkness would render the passage safe. 1 also 
sent telegrams to friends in London, Chatham, and 
Ambers tburg, to ascertain the whereabouts of her 

54 MeTtioirs of a Reformer. 

husband, and finally heard that he was living in 


At night the poor fugitive and myself were taken 
silently across the river that separated the land of 
freedom from the land of slavery. Not a word was 
spoken until we reached the soil of Canada. I then 
told her that she was a free woman, that no one 
could now deprive her of her right to " life, liberty, 
and tlie pursuit of happiness." I conveyed her to the 
house of a friend, and on the following day she went 
to London, where she and her husband were re- 
united after a separation of two years. Returning 
to Detroit, I took the train for Cleveland. There I 
received a telegram from Boston stating that Capt. 
John Brown of Kansas would meet me in Cleve- 
land in a day or two, and that he desired to confer 
with me on a subject connected with the anti- 
slavery cause. 


On the evening of my third day in Cleveland, 
whilst seated in my room at the hotel, a gentle tap 
at my door aroused me. ! said, "Come in." The door 
opened, and a ])lain, fai'mer-like man, with a coun- 
tenance strongly indicative of intelligence, coolness, 
tenacit}^ of purpose and lionesty, entei'ed the room. 
He appeared about five feet ten inches in heiglit, 

Memoirs of a Reformer, 55 

of slender but wiry and tou^h frame ; his glance 
was keen, steady and honest ; his step lithe and 
firm. He was, although simply and plainly dressed, 
a man of remarkable appearance. He introduced 
himself as " John Brown, of Kansas," and handed 
me letters from friends in Boston. Captain Brown 
remained with me nearly all night, eagerly listen- 
ing to a narrative of my trip through Virginia and 
Tennessee, and in relating incidents connected with 
his labors in Kansas. His manner and conversation 
had a magnetic influence, which rendered him very 
attractive and stamped him as a man of more than 
ordinary coolness, tenacity of purpose, and devotion 
to what he considered riglit. No idle, profane, or 
immodest word fell from his lips. During our in- 
terview he related many incidents of his life bear- 
ing upon the subject of slavery. He said he had 
for many years been studying the guerilla system 
of warfare adopted in the mountainous portions 
of Europe, and by that system he could, with a 
small body of picked men, inaugurate and maintain 
a guerilla war in the mountains of the slave states 
w^hich would cause so much annoyance to the 
United States Government, and create such a feel- 
ing of dread and insecurity in the minds of slave- 
holders, that they would ultimately be glad to " let 
the oppressed go free." He maintained that the 
only way to successfully attack the institution of 
slavery was, by conveying to the slaves such in- 

56 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

formation as would aid them in making their es- 
cape to Canada, and by exciting in their minds a 
desire for knowledge, which would enable them to 
combine in a struggle for freedom. He had little 
faith in the efficacy of moral suasion with slave- 
holders. He very properly placed them in the same 
category with thieves and murderers. 


John Brown was now returning to the west, from 
the eastern states, where he had been for several 
weeks trying to collect means to carry on the 
struggle for freedom in Kansas. He had met with 
disappointment, and felt it most keenly. He had 
sacrificed his own peace and comfort, and the peace 
and comfort of his family, in obedience to his sincere 
convictions of duty toward the oppressed people of 
the south, while those who had the means to help 
him make war upon the oppressors, were lukewarm 
or declined to aid him in his warfare. During our 
conversation he handed me a piece of paper, on 
which he had written the following, which he said 
he indited with the object of having it published 
before leaving Boston, but had been persuaded not 
to do it : — 

" OLD brown's farewell " 

"To the Plymouth Kocks, Bunker Hill Monu- 
ments, Charter Oaks and Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 57 

"He has left for Kansas. Has been trying since 
he came out of the Territory to secure an outfit, or, 
in other words, the means of arming and thoroughly 
equipping his regular minute men, who are mixed 
up with the people of Kansas, and he leaves the 
States with a feeling of deepest sadness, that after 
exhausting his own small means, and, with his 
family and his brave men, suffered hunger, cold, 
nakedness, and some of them sickness, wounds, im- 
prisonment in irons with extreme cruel treatment, 
and others death ; that after lying on the ground for 
months, in the most sickly, unwholesome and un- 
comfortable places, some of the time sick and wound- 
ed, destitute of any shelter, and hunted like wolves, 
sustained in part by Indians, that after all this, in 
order to sustain a cause which every man in this 
' glorious republic ' (?) is under equal moral obliga- 
tions to do, and for the neglect of which he will be 
held accountable to God ; a cause in which every 
man woman and child of the entire human family 
has a deep, awful interest ; that when no wages are 
asked or expected, he cannot secure amidst all the 
wealth, luxury and extravagance of this ' Heaven 
exalted people,' even the necessary supplies of the 
common soldier. ' How are the mighty fallen ! ' " 

To George L. Stearns of Boston, and his noble wife, 
are due the honor and glory of having supplied the 
financial wants of John Brown, which enabled him 
to make his heroic onslaught, that kindled the flame 
which devoured the institution of slavery and gave 
freedom to millions of slaves. 

58 Memoirs of a Reformer. 


I have been in the presence of many men called 
great and distinguished, but never have I met a 
more remarkable man than Captain John Brown. 
There was manifest in all he said and did an ab- 
sorbing intensity of purpose controlled by lofty 
moral principles. He was not a religionist, but he 
was a Christian. 

JOHN brown's ancestry. 

The following items I gathered during our inter- 
esting interview. John Brown was born in Torring- 
ton, Conn., on the 9th of May, 1800. He was by 
occupation a farmer, and the fifth by descent from 
Peter Brown, one of the brave exiles, who, on the 
22nd of December, 1660, knelt at Plymouth Rock 
and expressed gratitude and joy for their preserva- 
tion from the dangers of the deep, during their 
passage from England in the Mayflower. 

It was in 1839 that John Brown first conceived 
the idea of becoming a liberator of the southern 
slaves ; he had seen every riglit of the colored 
people in tlie south ruthlessly trodden under the 
feet of the tyrannical Slave Power. He saw slavery 
blighting and blasting the manhood of the nation, 
and he listened to the voice of the pooi- that cried. 
He heard Wasliington loudly praised, but he saw no 

Memoirs of a Reformer, 59 

helper of the bondman. He saw the people build- 
ing the sepulchres of the fathers of 76, but lynch- 
ing and murdering the prophets that were sent un- 
to them. He believed that "Who would be free 
themselves must strike the blow." But the slaves 
were scattered, closely watched, and prevented from 
assembling to conspire, without arms, apparently 
overpowered, at the mercy of every traitor, knowing 
the white man only as their foe. Seeing everywhere 
and always that the negroes, in order to arise and 
strike a blow for liberty, needed a positive sign 
that they had friends among the dominant race, 
who sympathized with them, believed in their right 
to freedom, and were ready to aid them in their at- 
tempt to obtain it, John Brown determined to let 
them know that they had friends, and prepared 
himself to lead them to liberty. 


The excitement in Richmond and Nashville con- 
sequent upon the escape of so many valuable slaves 
extended to all the surrounding country. In the 
reading-room of the hotel at Cleveland, Ohio, I 
picked up a Richmond paper, which contained a leng- 
thy account of the escape of slaves from Richmond, 
Nashville, and other parts of the south. The writer 
stated that a general impression prevailed in that 
community that a regularly organized band of abo- 

60 Metnoirs of a ReforTner. 

litionists existed in the south, which supplied the 
negroes with information and means of escape to 
Canada. The authorities were urged to offer 
a large reward for the apprehension of the 
" cursed negro thieves " that infested the south, and I 
that an example be made of those who were caught, 
that would forever deter others from interference 
with their constitutional I'ights. 


I concluded it was better for the cause I was try- 
ing to serve that no further attempt should be 
made until the present excitement in the south 
quieted down. So I went to Philadelphia. 

During my stay in that city, I was busily occupied 
in collecting statistics of the slave populations of 
particular locations in the Cotton States, and in con- 
sulting with friends and acquaintances as to the best 
methods of circulating information among the slaves 
in that region. 

Any one acquainted with the institution of 
slavery as it existed in the Gulf States, will fully 
appreciate the difficulties that environed such a 
crusade as I now contemplated — that of conveying 
directly to the slaves a knowledge of the best routes, 
the distances to be traversed, difficulties to be over- 
come, and the fact that they had friends in the bor- 
der states to wliom they could apply for aid, and on 

Meinoirs of a ReforTner. 61 

whom they could implicity rely for aid to forward 
them to Canada. Of all the dangers to myself that 
loomed up before my mind, the last and least was 
the fear of betrayal by the slaves. 

Once they became assured of your friendship and 
your desire to help them to escape from bondage, 
they would willingly suffer torture or death to save 
you. Such at least has been my experience with 
the negroes of the Slave States. 


My preparations being now completed, I engaged 
passage by steamer to New Orleans, on a mission 
the subject and details of which had occupied my 
mind exclusively for many weeks. I was accom- 
panied to the steamer by two steadfast friends of 
freedom. One of these friends, Gerrit Smith, had 
been my principal supporter and active and unflinch- 
ing friend from the commencement of my career 
as an abolitionist. In many parts of Ohio, Michi- 
gan, Indiana and Pennsylvania, we had fast friends, 
in the majority of cases, belonging to the Society of 
Friends, whose doors were always open to the poor 
fugitive from bondage, and whose hearts were open 
to the fugitive's appeal for help. 


During my stay in New Orleans I occasionally 
attended the slave auctions. The scenes I witnessed 

62 Meinoirs of a Reformer. 

there will never be effaced from my memory. The 
cries and heart-rending agonies of the poor creatures 
as they were sold, and separated from parents, hus- 
bands, children or wives, will never cease to ring in 
my ears. Babes were torn from the arms of their 
mothers and sold, while parents were separated and 
sent to distant parts of the country. Tired and 
overworked women were cruelly beaten because 
they refused the outrageous demands of their wicked 
overseers. The brutal and obscene examinations of 
female slaves by lecherous and base men, while the 
poor victims dare not raise a hand to resist, was 
not the worst that transpired in the slave pens. 
The horrid traffic in human beings, many of them 
much whiter and more iaitelligent than the cruel 
men who bought and sold them, was, without ex- 
ception, the most monstrous outrage on the rights 
of human beings that could possibly be imagined. 

A Christian : going, gone : 
Who bids for God's own image ? — for His grace 
Which that poor victim of the market place 

Hath in her suffering won ? 

My God ! can such things be ? 
Hast Thou not said whatso'er is done 
Unto Thy weakest and Thy humblest one, 

Is even done to Thee ? 

In that sad victim, then, 
Child of Thy pitying love, I see Thee stand — 
Once more the jest-word of a mocking band, 

Bound, sold, and scourged again. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 63 

A Christian up for sale ! 
Wet with her blood your whips — o'ertask her frame, 
Make her life loathsome with your wrong and shame, 

Her patience shall not fail ! 

God of all right ! how long 
Shall priestly robbers at Thy altar stand, 
Lifting in prayer to Thee, the bloody hand 

And haughty brow of wrong ? 

Oh, from the fields of cane, 
From the low rice-swamp, from the trader's cell — 
From the black slave-ship's foul and loathsome hell. 

And coffle's weary chain, — 

Hoarse, horrible, and strong, 
Rises to Heaven that agonizing cry, 
Filling the arches of the hollow sky, 

How LONG, God, how long ? 

Whittier, the Quaker Poet. 

Finally my preparations were completed, and I 
began my journey into the dark land. The route 
decided upon was from New Orleans to Vicksburg, 
and thence through the interior of Mississippi, Ala- 
bama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and 
Florida. I had never before visited that portion of 
the United States, and my field of labor was conse- 
quently surrounded by difficulties not experienced 
during my visit to Virginia and Tennesee, from the 
fact that I had not a single friend in the Cotton 
States on whom I could rely. 


64 Memoirs of a Reformer. 


From Vicksburg I made frequent visits to the 
surrounding plantations, seizing every favorable 
opportunity to converse with the more intelligent 
of the slaves. Many of these negroes had heard of 
Canada from the negroes brought from Virginia 
and the border Slave States, but the impression 
they had was that Canada was so far away it 
would be useless to try and reach it. On these ex- 
cursions I was usually accompanied by one or two 
smart, intelligent slaves, to whom I felt I could en- 
trust the secret of my visit. In this w^ay I suc- 
ceeded in circulating a knowledge of Canada, and 
the best means of reaching that country, to all the 
plantations for many miles around Vicksburg. I 
was often surprised at the rapidity with which in- 
formation was conveyed to the slaves of distant 
plantations. Thus on every plantation I had mis- 
sionaries who were secretly conveying intelligence 
to the poor down-trodden slaves of that benighted 
region, tliat in Canada there were hundreds of 
negroes who had through tlie aid of friends along 
the border escaped from slavery, and were now free 
men and women. No one hut a slave can fully 
appreciate the true meaning of the word " freedom." 
I continued my labors in the vicinity of Vicksburg 
for several weeks and then went to Selma, Alabama. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 65 


I made this place my base for extensive incur- 
sions to the surrounding country. There was not a 
plantation within fifteen miles of Selma that I did 
not visit successfully. 


Having completed my labors at Selma, I selected 
a small town in Mississippi, for my next field of 
labor. I had been at work about two weeks, 
when a difficulty occurred which, but for the faith- 
fulness of a negro, would have ended in my death, 
at the hands of an infuriated mob. During one of 
my visits to a plantation I met a negro slave of 
more than ordinary intelligence. His master was 
a man of coarse and brutal instincts, who had 
burned the initials of his name into the flesh of sev- 
eral of his slaves, to render their capture more 
certain in case they attempted to run away from 
this merciless wretch. I saw several of the victims 
of his cruelty, whose backs would forever bear the 
marks of his branding iron and lash. He was a 
veritable " Legree." 

On one of my excursions over his plantation, I 
was accompanied by the slave mentioned. During 
our rambles he gave me a history of his life and suf- 
ferings, and expressed an earnest desire to gain his 

66 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

freedom. I felt that he could be relied upon, and 
imparted to him the secret object of my visit to the 
South. He listened with absorbing interest, whilst 
I explained to him the difficulties and dangers he 
would have to encounter on so long and perilous a 
journey. He, however, declared his determination 
to make the attempt, saying that death itself was 
preferable to his present existence. On the follow- 
ing day (Saturday) I again visited the plantation, 
and selected this slave for my companion. He in- 
formed me he had decided to start for Canada as 
soon as he could communicate with a brother who 
was a slave on a plantation a few miles distant. He 
Avished to take his brother with him, if possible. I 
gave him instructions for his guidance after he 
should cross the Ohio, and the names of friends 
at Evans ville, Ind., and Cleveland, Ohio, to whom 
he could apply for assistance. I directed him to 
travel by night only until he reached friends north 
of the Ohio river. 


On the following Monday evening, whilst seated 
at the supper table of the hotel at which I was stop- 
ping, I heard loud and excited talking in the adjoin- 
ing room. In a few minutes the landlord came to 

me and said, " Col. wishes to speak with you. 

You liad better go and meet him." I immediately 

Memoirs of a Refortner, 67 

rose and went into the room from which the loud 
talking emanated. As I entered, the Colonel,, in a 
loud and brutal tone, said, " That's him, arrest him." 
Upon which a man stepped up and said, " You are 
my prisoner." I demanded the reason why I was 
arrested, whereupon the doughty Colonel strode to- 
ward me, with his fist clenched, and charged me 

with being a d d abolitionist. He said he would 

have my heart's blood ; that I had enticed away his 
nigger " Joe," for the nigger had not been seen since 
he went out with me on the previous Saturday. The 
room was filled with an excited crowd of men, who 
glared upon me with fierce and fiendish looks. I 
tried to keep cool, but I confess I felt that my 
labors were ended. I knew the character of the 
Colonel, and also knew that he possessed much in- 
fluence with the worst class of Southerners of that 


In the meantime the constable had produced a 
pair of iron handcuffs, and fastened them around 
my wrists. After the Colonel had exhausted his 
supply of curses and coarse abuse upon me — for 
the purpose of inciting the crowd to bang me — I 
quietly asked if they would allow me to say a few 
words, at the same time making a Masonic sign of 
distress in hope that there might be a Mason in the 
crowd with sufficient courage to sustain my request. 

68 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

I had no sooner made " the sign of distress " than a 
voice near me said, " Yes, let's hear what he has 
got to say. He ought to be allowed to speak." I 
was encouraged, and very quietly said, " Gentlemen^ 
I am a stranger here, without friends. I am your 
prisoner in irons. The Colonel has cliarged me with 
violating your laws, will you act the part of cowards 
by allowing this man to incite you to commit a 
murder ? Or will you, like brave men grant the only 
request I have to make, that is, a fair trial before 
3^our magistrates ?" Several persons at once spoke 
up in my favor. 


A crowd of people had gathered to see an aboli- 
tionist have the mockery of a trial. " Col. Legree " 
was asked by the Justice to state his case, which he 
did in true slave-driving style, as if determined to 
force his case against me. My case seemed hopeless. 
I saw no way of escape from my desperate situa- 
tion. I was surrounded on every side by men 
thii'sting for m}^ blood, and anxious to vindicate the 
outraged laAvs of the State of Mississippi. At length 
the Colonel finished his statement, which, reduced 
to simple facts, was that I had called at his residence 
on Saturday last, and requested permission to roam 
over his plantation, that he had given me permission^ 
and allowed liis servant " Joe " to accompany me, 
tliat "Joe" had not returned nor could he be found, 

Me)nmr8 of a Reformer, 69 

that he was sure I had aided him to escape, and de- 
manded of the Justice that I should be punished as 
a " negro thief " deserved. His remarks were loudly 
applauded by the slave-hounds that surrounded him. 
The Justice turned to me, and in a loud voice said, 
': Have you anything to say ?" At this moment a 
voice outside the room shouted, " Here's Joe, here's 
Joe," and a rush was made toward the door. 


" Joe " was ushered into the court-room and fell 
on his knees before the Colonel asking his forgive- 
ness for leaving the plantation without permission. 
He said he wanted to see his brother "powerful bad," 
and had gone to the plantation on which his brother 
was living, about eight miles distant, on Saturday 
night, expecting to return by Sunday evening, but 
having sprained his ankle he could not move until 
Monday evening, when he started for home, travel- 
ling nearly all night. As soon as he reached the 
Colonel's he was told of my arrest, and early that 
morning- he had come into town to save me. The 
Justice ordered the constable to release me and 
expressed his regret that I had been subjected to so 
much annoyance. 


The Colonel was completely chopfallen at the 
turn affairs had taken. I was surrounded by sev- 

70 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

eral good Masonic friends, who expressed their grati- 
fication at my release. I addressed the Colonel, 
saying, that as he had put me to much inconvenience 
and trouble, I claimed a favor of him. He asked 
what it was. I begged him not to punish " Joe " 
for what he had done, and to allow me to present 
the brave fellow with a gift as a mark of gratitude 
for his fidelity to me. As these favors were asked 
in the presence of the crov,^d, he could not very well 
refuse my request. He sulkily promised that " Joe " 
should not be punished, and said if I pleased I might 
make him a present. I then handed " Joe " some 
money, for which he looked a thousand thanks. I 
was thus able to evince my gratitude for what he 
had done for me, and at the same time present him 
with the means to aid him in escaping from bondage. 

Two years after this occurrence, while dining at 
the American Hotel in Boston, I observed a colored 
waiter eyeing me very closely : at length he recog- 
nized me and asked if I remembered him. It wa^^ 
" Joe," my saviour, the former slave of " Colonel Le- 
gree." I grasped the noble fellow's hand, and con- 
gratulated him upon his escape from bondage. In 
the evening I invited him into the parlour and in- 
troduced him to several anti-slavery friends, to whom 
I narrated the incidents above related. " Joe " sub- 
sequently gave me tlie following particulars of his 
escape from slavery : 

On the Sunday evening following my arrest and 

Memoirs of a Reforrner. 71 

acquittal, his brother joined him in a piece of woods 
near the Colonel's plantation, where he had secreted 
sufficient food to last them several days. 


At midnight they started together, movmg as 
rapidly as they could through the fields and woods, 
keeping the north star in front of them. Whenever 
it was possible, they walked in the creeks and mar- 
shy grounds, to throw the slave-hunters off their 
tracks. Thus night after night they kept on their 
way weary, hungry, and sore-footed. On the morning 
of the seventeenth day of their freedom, they reach- 
ed the Ohio river, nearly opposite a large town; all 
day they lay secreted in the bushes, at night they 
crossed the river in a small boat and travelled rapid- 
ly, taking a north-easterly course. After enduring 
many hardships they reached Cleveland, Ohio, and 
went to the house of a friend whose name I had 
given "Joe." They were kindly received and supplied 
with clothing and other comforts. Resting a week, 
they were sent to Canada, where " Joe's " brother 
still lives (1890). 


On the day following my release from peril I was 
conveyed to luka, a station on the Charleston and 
Memphis railroad. There I purchased a through 

72 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

ticket for New York, which I took pains to exhibit 
to the landlord of the hotel, so that in case I was 
pursued (as I certainly Avould be, if "Joe " and his 
brother succeeded in escaping), he would state the 
fact that I had bought tickets for New York, which 
would probably check their pursuit. From luka 
I went to Huntsville, Alabama, where for a short 
time I was busy circulating information among the 


Learning that Augusta was favorably situated 
for my work, and that the slaves in that sec- 
tion were sharp and intelligent, I determined to 
make that city my next field of labor. Having 
secured a home with a Quaker family, I was soon 
actively engaged in becoming acquainted with the 
more intelligent colored people of that section. 


Among the religious denominations of the south, 
none were more faithful to the principles of freedom, 
or to the dictates of humanity in respect to slavery, 
than the friends called " Quakers." Wherever I 
have met the members of that society, whether in 
the north or south, tliey have alwaj^s proved them- 
selves friends in deed as well as in name. They 
could always be implicitl}^ trusted by the poor fugi- 
tives from l)ondage. I know of many instances 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 73 

where at ^reat sacrifice and risk they have shielded 
the outcasts from their pursuers — the slave-hunters 
and United States marshals. Hundreds of the 
negroes of Canada will bear testimony to the unfail- 
ing fidelit}^ of the peaceful and worthy Quakers. 


In Augusta I succeeded in ecjuipping a party of 
eleven fine, active, intelligent slaves for the long, 
dangerous and weary journey to the north. No one, 
unless engaged in similar work, can appreciate the 
extreme delicacy of my position. There was not a 
day, in fact scarcely an hour, that I did not live in 
expectation of exposure and death. The system of 
keen and constant espionage in practice throughout 
the slave states, rendered it exceedingly necessary 
to exercise the greatest prudence in approaching the 
slaves. If a stranger was seen in conversation with 
a slave he became at once an object of suspicion. I 
found by experience that a frank, bold, and straight- 
forward course was the safest and best. I was 
greatly aided in my work here by a remarkably in- 
telligent mulatto, the son of a U.S. Senator by a fe- 
male slave. This man was chosen leader of the 
band of fugitives from Augusta, and under his 
leadership the whole party arrived safely in Canada 
in less than two months from the time they escaped 
from bondage. Two members of the party are now 
living in Canada, and in good circumstances. Im- 

74 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

mediately after the exodus of these brave fellows, I 
quietly left the scene of my labors and went to 
Charleston, S.C. 


A few days after my arrival, one of the Charles- 
ton papers contained a despatch from Augusta, 
which stated that several first-class negro men had 
disappeared from that place within a week, and that 
a very general impression prevailed that abolition- 
ists were at work exciting negroes to escape from 
their masters. I left Charleston that evening and 
went to Raleigh, N.C. While at breakfast next 
morning two gentlemen seated near me entered into 
conversation relative to the escape of slaves from 
Augusta. One of them remarked that an English- 
man who had been stopping in Augusta for sev- 
eral weeks was suspected of doing the mischief, and 
that it was supposed he had gone with the fugitives, 
as he had not been seen since the slaves were miss- 
ed ; but if he should be caught, no mercy would be 
shown him, as it was time to make an example of 
the nigger-thieves that infested the south. I lost 
no time, obviously, and left by the first train for 



During my stay in Washington I was the guest 
of Charles Sumner, at whose house I met many dis- 

Memoirs of a Refornier. 75 

tinguished people, who evinced a warm and appre- 
ciative interest in my labors. The slave-holders at 
that period held the balance of power in the United 
States, and the northern Democrats were used by 
them to tighten the bonds that bound the colored 
people of the south in the chains of slavery. The 
slave-masters were not satisfied with the recognized 
boundaries of their institution, and sought by every 
device to obtain some portion of the new territories 
of the south-west to which they could carry their 
vile institution. North^-n men of the Douglas and 
Seymour stamp were willing to yield to the slave 
lords, and even sacrifice the dearest interests of their 
country, providing they could advance their indi- 
vidual claims to the presidency. The haughty and 
outrageous demands of Davis, Mason and Toombs 
were abetted by the cowardly Democratic politi- 
cians of the north. Towering above these contempt- 
ible political demagogues stood Charles Sunmer, the 
brave champion of freedom. No prospect of politi- 
cal advancement could tempt him from the path of 
duty, nor could the brutal threats and assaults of 
his cowardly opponents, cause him to halt in his 
warfare for the rights of man. 

On my arrival in Philadelphia I laid before my 
anti-slavery friends a report of my work. One 
venerable and talented Quaker lady, at whose house 
our reunion took place, and whose name has long 
been identified with the cause of human freedom. 

76 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

tendered me the congratulations of the society on 
my safe return from the land of darkness and des- 


While in Philadelphia a telegram was received 
from a friend in Evansville, Ind., informing me that 
two fugitives had arrived there in a most pitiable 
condition, their emaciated bodies bearing the marks 
of many a bruise. I at once went to Evansville to 
render them such aid as J could. They were de- 
lighted to meet me again, and recalled an interview 
they had with me at Huntsville, Alabama. The 
poor fellows were kindly cared for, and after a few 
days' rest, continued their journey to Canada, pre- 
pared to defend their right to own themselves 
against whoever might dispute it. The route trav- 
elled by these fugitives from Huntsville to the 
Ohio river was marked with their blood. Their 
escape was soon discovered and persistent efforts 
were made to capture them. They were follow^ed 
for two days by bloodhounds that were placed on 
their tracks, but which they succeeded in eluding 
by wading in the creeks and marshes ; for forty- 
eight hours the deep baying of the hounds was fre- 
(juently heard. They travelled by night only, tak- 
ing the north star for their guide, and by day rested 
in secluded places. Their sufferings from hunger 
were very severe, which they were often obliged to 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 77 

relieve by eating frogs and other reptiles. Occa- 
sionally, however, they succeeded in confiscating 
|)Oultry from the hen-houses of the slaveholders 
( )n their route. 

" In dark fens of the Dismal Swamp, 

The hunled negro lay ; 
He saw the fire of the midnight camp, 
And heard at times a horse's tramp. 

And a bloodhound's distant bay. 

Where will-o'-the wisps and glow-worms shine 

In bulrush and in brake ; 
Where waving mosses shroud the pine, 
And the cedar grows, and the poisonous vine 

Is spotted like the snake ; 

Where hardly a human foot could pass. 

Or a human heart would dare. 
On the (|uaking turf of the green morass. 
He crouched in the rank and tangled grass, 

Like a wild beast in its lair. 

All things above were bright and fair. 

All things were glad and free ; 
Lithe squirrels darted here and there, 
And wild birds filled the echoing air 

With songs of liberty. 

On him alone was the doom of pain. 

From the morning of his birth ; 
On him alone the crime of Cain 
Fell, like a flail on the garnered grain. 

And struck him to the earth." 


My experience in the Cotton States served to in- 
tensify my abhorrence and hatred of slavery, and to 


78 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

nerve me for the work I was engaged in. On several 
occasions while in the slave states I attended church 
service, and invariably observed that whenever the 
subject of slavery was mentioned it was referred to 
as a wise, beneficent institution, and one minister 
declared that " the institution of slavery was devised 
by God, for the especial benefit of the colored race." 

" Just God I — and these are they 
Who minister at Thine altar, God of Right I 
Men who their hands, with prayer and blessing, lay 
On Israel's Ark of light I 

What ! preach and kidnap men ? 
Give thanks — and rob Thy own afflicted poor ? 
Talk of Thy glorious liberty, and then 

Bolt hard the captive's door ? 

What 1 servants of Thy own 
Merciful Son, who came to seek and save 
The homeless and the outcast, — fettering down 

The tasked and plundered slave I 

Pilate and Herod, friends ! 
Chief priests and rulers, as of old, combine I 
Just God and holy ! is that church, which lends 

Strength to the spoiler, Thine ? 

Paid hypocrites, who turn 
Judgment aside, and rob the Holy Book 
Of those high words of truth which search and burn 

In warning and rebuke : 

Feed fat, ye locusts, feed ! 
And in your tasselled pulpits, thank the Lord 
That, from the toiling bondman's utter need. 

Ye pile your own full board. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 79 

How long, Lord 1 how long 
Shall such a priesthood barter truth away, 
And, in Thy name, for robbery and wrong 

At Thy own altars pray ? 

Woe to the priesthood ! woe 
To those whose hire is with the price of blood — 
Perverting, darkening, changing as they go, 

The searching truths of God I 

, Their glory and their might 
Shall perish ; and their names shall be 
Vile before all the people, in the light 
Of a world's liberty. 

Oh ! speed the moment on 
When Wrong shall cease — and Liberty, and Love, 
And Truth, and Right, throughout the earth be known 

As in their home above." 

Whittier, the Quaker Pott. 


Meet with John Brown — Farewell to John Brown — John Brown 
Calls a Convention at Chatham, Canada — Refugees in Canada 
— At Work in Delaware — Depot of the Underground Railway 
— John Brown Ready to Move — In Richmond — John Brown's 
Attack on Harper's Ferry — Blow felt throughout the Slave 
States — Dough-faced Xortherners— Effects of John Brown's 
Attack — John Brown a Prisoner — Bearing of John Brown— 
Interview with Governor Wise — John Brown's Farewell Letter 
to the Author — Execution of John Brown — Letters to the 
Author from John Brown's Widow and Children— "The John 
Brown Song " — John Brown's Men at Harper's Ferry— Casu- 
alties of the Fight at Harper's Ferry—Copy of John Brown's 
Commission to His Olficers. 


From Evansville I returned to Philadelphia, and 
after a short stay in that city left for Boston, via 


At Springfield, Mass., the train stopped a few 
minutes for refreshments. As I took my seat at 
the table, I observed an elderly gentleman looking 
very earnestly at me. At length he recognized me, 
and taking a seat near me said in a whisper, 
"How is the hardware business?" The moment 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 81 

he spoke I recognized Capt. John Brown, of Kansas. 
He was much changed in appearance, looked older 
and more careworn, but there was no change in his 
voice or eye, both were indicative of strength, hon- 
esty and tenacity of purpose. Learning that I was 
on my way to Boston, whither he was going on the 
following day, he urged me to remain in Springfield 
ov^er night and accompany him to Boston. In the 
evening we retired to a private parlor, and he asked 
me to tell him about my trip through Mississippi 
and Alabama. He listened intently to the recital of 
my narrative, from the time I left New Orleans un- 
til my arrest in Mississippi, with great earnestness 
and without speaking, until I described my arrest 
and imprisonment ; then his countenance changed, 
his eyes flashed, he paced the room in silent wrath. 
I never witnessed a more intense manifestation of 
indignation and scorn. Coming up to me, he took my 
wrists in his hands and said, " God alone brought you 
out of that hell ; and these wrists have been ironed 
and you have been imprisoned for doing your duty. I 
vow that I will not rest from my labor until I have 
discharged my whole duty towards God and to- 
wards my brother in bondage." When he ceased 
speaking, he sat down and buried his face in his 
hands, in which position he sat for some minutes as 
if overcome by his feelings. At length, arousing 
himself, he asked me to continue my narrative, to 
which he listened patiently during its recital. 


82 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

He said, " You have been permitted to do a 
work that falls to the lot of few." Taking a small 
Bible or Testament from his pocket, he said, " The 
good book says, ' Whatsoever ye would that men 
should do to you, do ye even so to them ; ' it teaches 
us, further, to remember them in bonds as bound 
with them." He continued, " I have devoted the 
last twenty years of my life to preparation for the 
work which I believe God has given me to do, and 
while I live, I will not cease my labors." He then 
gave me some details of a campaign w^hich he was 
then actually preparing for, and which he said had 
occupied his mind for many years. He intended to 
establish himself in the mountains of Virginia with 
a small body of picked men. He felt confident 
that the negroes would flock to him in large num- 
bers, and that the slave-holders would soon be glad 
to let the oppressed go free ; that the dread of a 
negro insurrection would produce fear and tremb- 
ling in all the slave states ; that the presence in the 
mountains of an armed body of liberators w^ould 
cause a general insurrection among the slaves, 
which would end in their freedom. He said he had 
about twenty-two Kansas men undergoing a course 
of military instruction ; these men would form a 
nucleus, around which he would soon gather a force 
sufficiently large and effective to strike terror 
through the slave states. His present difficulty 
was a deficiency of ready money. He had been 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 83 

promised support to help the cause of freedom — 
which was not forthcoming now that he was pre- 
paring to carry the war into the South. Some of 
his friends were disinclined to aid offensive opera- 
tions. During this interview he informed me that 
he intended to call a convention at Chatham, Cana- 
da, for the purpose of effecting an organization 
composed of men who were willing to aid him in 
his purpose of invading the slave states. He said 
he had rifles and ammunition sufficient to e(|uip 
two hundred men ; that he had made a contract for 
a large number of pikes, with which he intended to 
arm the negroes ; that the object of his present trip 
to the East was to raise funds to keep this contract, 
and perfect his arrangements for an attack upon the 
slave states. He accompanied me on the following 
day to Boston. During our journey, he informed 
me that he required a thousand dollars at least to 
complete his preparations, and that he needed 
money at once to enable him to fulfil a contract for 
arms with a manufacturer in Connecticut. He also 
needed money to bring his men from Iowa to 
Canada. He met with but little success in Boston. 
It appeared that such friends of the cause of free- 
dom as had an inkling of his project, were not dis- 
posed to advance money for warlike purposes, ex- 
cept for the defence of free territory. Many of his 
sincere friends feared that the persecution of him- 
self and family by the pro-slavery border ruffians 

84 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

would provoke him to engage in some enterprise 
Avhich might result in the destruction of himself 
and his followers. I am persuaded that there was 
no reason for any such apprehension. I never 
heard him express any feeling of personal resent- 
ment towards any one, not even border ruffians. 
He appeared to me to be under the influence of 
broad, enlightened, and humane views, and a fixed 
determination to do his duty towards the oppressed. 
Next morning Capt. Brown departed from Bos- 
ton. I accompanied him to the depot, and bade 
him farewell. 


The following invitation from Capt. Brown to at- 
tend a convention " of true friends of freedom," to 
be held in Chatham, Canada, I did not receive until 
the 13th of May — three days after the time ap- 
pointed for holding the convention : 

Chatham, Canada, 

Maj' oth, 1858. 
My Dear Fkiexd : 

I have called a quiet convention in this town of the true 
friends of freedom. Your attendance is earnestly requested 
on the lOlh ins^ 

Your friend, 

C^cr"/p9^^ U Jy-0 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 85 


During the following summer I visited Canada, 
and had great pleasure in meeting many of those 
who had, under my auspices, escaped from the land 
of bondage. In Hamilton I was welcomed by a 
man who had escaped from Augusta. The meeting 
with so many of my former pupils, and the know- 
ledge that they were happy, thriving, and industri- 
ous, gave me great satisfaction. The trials and dan- 
gers I had endured in their behalf were rendered 
pleasing reminiscences. 

The information obtained from these refugees re- 
lative to the experiences while en route to Canada 
enabled me subsequently to render valuable aid to 
other fugitives from the land of bondage. 


On one occasion I visited Wilmington, Delaware, 
for the purpose of liberating the young wife of 
a refugee, who the year previous had made his es- 
cape to Canada, from the little town of Dover. I 
learned that the object of my visit was owned by a 
widow lady, who had but recently purchased the 
slave, paying the sum of twelve hundred dollars for 
her. I also learned that the widow was disposed to 
sell the girl, in fact that it was her intention to take 
her to New Orleans in the fall, for the purpose of 

86 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

offering her for sale in the market, where prices 
ranged in proportion to the beauty and personal 
charms possessed by these victims of man's inhu- 

After a few hours' consideration I decided upon a 
plan which ultimately interfered with the widow's 
project. In the morning I called at the house of the 
widow, ostensibly to purchase her slave woman. The 
bell was answered by an octoroon woman, whom 
from the description I had received of her, I knew 
to be the object of my visit. I enquired whether 
her mistress was at home. She replied that her 
mistress had gone to market, and would not be home 
for an hour or two : further, that she was the only 
person in the house. I asked her name, and other 
questions, which proved that she was Martha Ben- 
nett, the wife of the Canadian refugee. I then told 
her my object in calling, that I had recently seen her 
husband, and that if she desired to go to him, I 
would endeavor to take her to Canada. I gave her 
a few lines written by her husband, begging her to 
come to him. She read the paper with deep feel- 
ing, trembling from head to foot, the tears falling- 
fast upon the paper. She said, " Massa, I Avill do 
just what you tell me. I wish I could get to Canada. 
Missis is going to take me to New Orleans this fall, 
and then I shall never see my husband again." I told 
her to leave the house at midnight, or as soon after 
as possible, prepared to accompany me : tliat I would 

Memoirs of a Reforiner. (S7 

have a conveyance ready not far from the house to 
carry her out of the state to a place of safety : that 
she must attend to her duties during the day as usual, 
and not excite, by any unusual appearance or con- 
duct, the suspicions of her mistress. I then left, and 
made preparations to convey her to the house of 
Hannah Cox, near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. 


The house of this noble woman had for years been 
one of the depots of the " underground railroad" (the 
rendezvous of fugitive slaves from Maryland and 
Delaware), where many poor fugitives have come 
with bleeding feet and tattered garments, relying 
upon the humanity of this noble woman, who shield- 
ed the outcasts from their pursuers. Hannah Cox was 
a worthy member of the Society of Friends. She 
possessed great sweetness of disposition, combined 
with energy, courage and tried sympathies, a highly 
cultivated mind and the ease and grace of a queen. 
Mrs. Cox, like all other outspoken abolitionists, 
was at that period outlawed from public respect, 
scorned and hated by the Church and State, and 
despised by the rich. There never lived a purer or 
more noble woman than Hannah Cox. She out- 
lived the institution of slavery, and received the 
homage and respect of those who in other days 
persecuted and despised her. 

88 Memoirs of a Beformer. 

Returning to the house of my friend, I obtained 
a horse and small waggon, and at twelve o'clock 
that night drove down the street on which the 
house of the widow was situated. At last I caught 
sight of the object of my search. Taking her into 
the carriage, I drove rapidly away on the road to 
Kennet Square, Penn. I kept the horse at a rapid 
gait, until I got out of sight of Wilmington. x\bout 
four o'clock in the morning I heard the sound of a 
carriage rapidly following me. Upon reaching the 
top of a small hill I looked back and saw a horse 
coming at full gallop — behind him a buggy with 
two men in it. I directed the girl to crouch down 
in the bottom of the vehicle, I then put my horse to 
its utmost speed, hoping to cross the Pennsylvania 
line before my pursuers came up to me. The stifled 
cries of the poor slave at my feet made me resolve 
to defend her to the last extremity. I had two 
good navy revolvers with me, and got them ready 
for action. Looking back, I saw that my pursuers 
were gaining upon me. They were not more than 
two hundred yards distant, and I could hear shouts 
for me to stop ; in another moment I heard the re- 
port of a pistol and the whizzing sound of a bullet. 
I then drew my revolver and fired four times in 
rapid succession at the horse of my pursuers. I 
saw the animal stagger and fall to the ground. 
One of my pursuers then fired several times at me 
without effect. I was soon out of danger from 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 89 

them, and safe with my charge at the house of 
good Hannah Cox. 

I went on to Philadelphia, where I remained 
until the excitement had quieted down. I then re- 
turned and conveyed the poor fugitive to Clifton, 
Canada : from thence she went to Chatham, where 
she found her husband. 


On the 9th of October, 1859, I was somewhat sur- 

l^i'ised to receive the following brief letter from 

Captain Brown, announcing his intention to make 

an attack on the Slave States in the course of a 

few weeks : 

Chambersburg, Penn., 

October 6th, 1859. 
Dear Friend, — ^ ^ .^ I shall move about the last of this 
month. Can you help the cause in the way promised ? Ad- 
dress your reply to Isaac Smith, Chambersburg, Penn. 

Your friend, 

JoHM Brown. 


I had promised Captain Brown, during our in- 
terview at Springfield, Mass., that when he was 
ready to make his attack on the Slave States, T 
would, if possible, go to Richmond, and await the 
result. In case he should be successful in his 
attack, I would be in a position to Vfatch the course 
of events, and enlighten the slaves as to his pur- 

90 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

poses. It mig'lit also be possible for me to aid the 
cause in other respects. Accordingly, I was in 
Richmond on the 15th (the day before the raid), 
prepared to remain there and await the course of 


On tlie morning of Monday, the 17th of Octo- 
ber, wild rumours were in circulation about tlie 
streets of Richmond, that Harper's Ferry had been 
captured by a band of robbers ; and again that an 
army of abolitionists under the command of a 
desperado by the name of Smith, was murdering 
the inliabitants of that village and carrying off' the 
negroes. Throughout the da}^ gi'oups of excited 
men gathered about the newspaper offices to hear 
the news from Harper's Ferry. 


On the following morning (Tuesday) an official 
report was received which stated that a large force 
of abolitionists under Old Osawatomie Brown had 
taken possession of the U. S. armory at the ferry, 
and had entrenched themselves. An aged negro 
whom I met in the street seemed completely be- 
wildered with the excitement, and military prepara- 
tions going on ai"ound liiiii. As I approached him 
he raised his hat and said, " Please massa, what's 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 91 

the matter ? what's the soldiers out for ?" I told him 
a band of abolitionists had seized Harper's Ferry 
and liberated many of the slaves of that section ; 
and that they intended to free all the slaves in the 
South if they could. " Can da do it, massa ? " he 
asked, while his countenance brightened up. I re- 
plied, perhaps so, and asked him if he would like to 
be free ? He said, " O yes, massa ; I'se prayed for 
dat dese forty years. My two boys are away oft' in 
Canada. Do you know where dat is, massa ?" 


That John Brov\ai had struck a blow that was 
felt throughout the Slave States, was evident from 
the number of telegraph despatches from the South, 
offering aid to crush the invasion. 


The people of Richmond were frantic with rage 
at this daring interference with their cherished in- 
stitution, which gave them the right to buy, beat, 
work and sell their fellow men. Crowds of rough 
excited men filled with whiskey and wickedness 
stood for hours together in front of the offices of 
the Dispatch and Enquirer, listening to the reports, 
as they were announced from within. When the 
news of Brown's defeat and capture, and the des- 
truction of his little band, was read from the win- 

92 Memoirs of a Reforiner. 

dow of the Dispatch oflfice, the vast crowds set up a 
demoniac yell of delight, which to me sounded like 
a death knell to all my hopes for the freedom of the 
enslaved. As the excitement was hourly increasing, 
and threats made to search the city for abolitionists, 
I felt that nothing could be gained by remaining in 

I left for Washington, almost crushed in spirit at 
the destruction of Capt. Brown and his brave little 
band. On the train were Southerners from several 
of the Slave States, who boldly expressed their 
views of Northern abolitionists, in the most em- 
phatic slave-driving language. The excitement was 
intense, every stranger, especially if lie looked like 
a Northerner, was closely watched, and in some 
instances subjected to inquisition. 


The attitude of many of the leading Northern 
politicians and so-called statesmen of Washington, 
was simply disgusting. These weak-kneed and 
craven creatures, were profuse in tlieir apologies for 
Brown's assault, and hastened to divest themselves 
of wliat littk' manliood they possessed, wliile in the 
presence of tlie women-wlu])pers of the South. 
" What can we do to conciliate the Slave States ?" 
was the leading (piestion of the day. Such men as 
Crittenden and Douglas were ready to compromise 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 93 

with the slave-holders, even at the sacrifice of their 
avowed principles. While Toombs, Davis, Mason, Sli- 
dell and the rest of the slave-driving crew, haughtily 
demanded further guarantees for the protection of 
their " institution ; " and had it not been for the 
stand taken by the people of the Northern States 
at that time, their political leaders would have 
bound the North hand and foot, to do the bidding 
of the slave-holders. But, on that occasion, the 
people of the North showed themselves worthy des- 
cendents of their revolutionary sires. 


The blow struck at Harper's Ferry, wliich the 
democratic leaders afiected to ridicule, had startled 
the slave-holders from their dreams of security, and 
sent fear and trembling into every home in the 
Slave States. The poor oppressed slave as he laid 
down on his pallet of straw, weary from his en- 
forced labors, offered up a prayer for the safety of 
the grand old captain, who was a prisoner in the 
hands of merciless foes, thirsting for his blood. 


How bravely John Brown bore himself in the 
presence of the human wolves that surrounded him, 
as he lay mangled and torn in front of the engine- 
house at Harper's Ferry ! Mason, of Virginia, and 


Memoirs of a Reformer 

that Northern renegade, Vallancligham, interrogated 
the aj^parently dying man, trying artfully, but in 
vain, to get him to implicate leading Northern men. 
In the history of modern times there is not recorded 
another instance of such rare heroic valour as John 
Brown displayed in the presence of Governor Wise, 
of Virginia. How contemptible Mason, Wise, and 
Vallandigham appear when compared with the 
wounded old liberator, who lay weltering in his 
blood, shed in behalf of the oppressed. Mason, 
Wise and Vallandigham died with the stain of trea- 
son on their heads. 


To superficial observers. Brown's attack on Vir- 
ginia with so small a force, looked like the act of a 
madman ; but those who knew John Brown, and 

Memoirs of a Refornier. 95 

the men under his command, are satisfied that if he 
had carried out his original plans, and retreated 
with his force to the mountains, after he had cap- 
tured the arms in the arsenal, he could have baffled 
any force sent against him. The slaves would have 
flocked to his standard by thousands, and the slave- 
holders would have trembled with fear for the 
safety of their families. 


John Brown in prison, surrounded by his captors, 
won greater victories than if he had conquered the 
South by force of arms. His courage, truthfulness, 
humanity, and self-sacrificing devotion to the cause 
of the poor downtrodden slaves, shamed the cow- 
ardly, weak-kneed, and truculent Northern poli- 
ticians into opposition to the haughty demands of 
the despots of the South. The crack of his rifle at 
Harper's Ferry suddenly confronted every man in 
America, with his traditional cowardice, moral, 
political, or physical. There was a moment of 
timid deprecation or hasty denial : " We know not 
the man ; "■ — the million eyes met, the explosion of 
long-pent fires, the nation is rent, the lie dragged to 
judgment, the laws re-constructed, and the people 
of the Free States confess that John Brown, the 
" outlaw," the " lunatic," the spurned of all sections 
to an ignominious death, was not prophet only, but 

96 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

the very cry that was rising in every true heart in 

I esteem it a great privilege to have known Jolui 
Brown, and to have had the opportunity of aiding 
him in his great purpose. 


December the 2nd, 1859, was the day appointed 
for the execution of Captain Brown. I determined 
to make an effort to see him once more if possible. 
Taking the cars at Baltimore, on November 26th, I 
went to Harper's Ferry, and applied to the military 
officer in command for permission to go to Charles- 
tow^n. He enquired my object in wishing to go 
there at that time, while so much excitement ex- 
isted. I replied, that I had a desire to see John 
Brown once more before his death. Without reply- 
ing to me, he called an officer in the room and dir- 
ected him to place me in close confinement until 
the arrival of the train for Baltimore and then to 
place me on the train, and command the conductor 
to take me to Baltimore. Then, raising his voice, 
he said, " Captain, if he (myself) returns to Harper's 
Ferry, shoot him at once." I was placed under 
guard until the train came in, when, in spite of my 
protests, I was taken to Baltimore. Determined to 
make one more attempt, I went to Riclimond to try 
and obtain permission fi'om the Governor. After 
much difficulty I obtained an 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 97 


I told the Governor that I had a strong desire to 
see John Brown before his execution ; that I had 
some acquaintance with him, and had formed a 
very high estimate of him as a man. I asked him 
to allow me to go to Charlestown (under surveil- 
lance if he pleased), and bid the old Captain " good- 
bye." The Governor made many inquiries to ascer- 
tain my views of Brown, and finally asked whether 
I justified his attack on Virginia. I replied, that 
from childhood I had been an ardent admirer of 
Washington, Jefferson and Madison, and that all 
these great and good men deplored the existence of 
slavery in the Republic. That my admiration and 
friendship for John Brown was owing to his hold- 
ing similar views and his earnest desire to abolish 
the 'evil. The "Governor looked amazed at my per- 
tinacity, and for a moment made no reply. At 
length he straightened himself up, and, assuming a 
dignified air, said, " My family motto is, ' sapere 
aude.' I am wise enough to understand your object 
in wishing to go to Charlestown, and I dare you to 
go. If you attempt it I will have you shot. It is 
such men as you who have urged Brown to make 
his crazy attack upon our constitutional rights and 
privileges. You shall not leave Richmond until 
after the execution of Brown. I would like to hang 

a dozen of your leading abolitionists." 

98 Memoirs of a Reformer, 


" If I could bag old Giddings and Gerrit Smith, 
I would hang them without trial." 

The Gov^ernor became excited, and paced the 
floor angrily, saying, " No, sir ! you shall not leave 
Richmond. You shall go to prison, and remain there 
until next Monday ; then you may go North, and 
slander the State which ought to have hanged you I" 
I replied, that as he refused me permission to see 
Captain Brown, I would leave Virginia at once, and 
thus save the State any trouble or expense on my 
account. I said this very quietly, while his eyes 
were riveted on me. In reply, he said, " Did I 
not tell you that you should remain a prisoner here 
until Monday ? " I replied, " Yes, Governor, you 
did ; but I am sure the executive of this great 
State is too wise to fear one unarmed man." For 
a moment he tapped the table with his fingers, then 
shaking his fore-finger, said : " Well, you may go, 
and I would advise you to tell your Giddings, 
Greeleys, Smiths and Garrisons, cowards that tliey 
are, to lead the next raid on Virginia themselves." 

Fearing tluit obstacles might be thrown in my 
way, which would cause detention and trouble, I 
requested the Governor to give me a permit to leave 
tlie State (^f X'irginia. Witliout making repl}^ he 
picked up a lilank card, and wrote as follows : — 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 99 

" The bearer is hereby ordered to leave the State 
of Virginia within twenty-four hours." 



This he handed me, saying, " The sooner you go, 
the bet ter for you ; our people are greatly excited 
and you may regret this visit if you stay another 

On returning to Philadelphia 1 wrote to Captain 
Brown, bidding him a last farewell. Several days 
after his execution I received from the sheriff of 
Jefferson County, Virginia, the following letter, 
written by the captain the day before his execu- 
tion : — 


•* Jail, Charlestown, Va., December, 1st, 1859. 

"My Dear Friend: — Captain Avis, my jailor, has just 
handed me your most kind and affectionate letter. I am sorry 
your efforts to reach this place have been unavailing, I thank 
you for your faithfulness, and the assurance you give me that 
my poor and deeply afflicted family will be provided for. It 
takes from my mind the greatest cause of sadness I have ex- 
perienced since my imprisonment. In a few hours, through in- 
finite grace in ' Christ Jesus, my Lord,' I shall be in another and 
better state of existence. I feel quite cheerful and ready to die. 

100 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

My dear friend, do not give up your labors for the * poor that 
cry, and them that are in bonds.' " 

(Facsimile of the three last lines. ) 


On the morning of his execution, an ordinary 
furniture waggon, containing a plain coffin, was 
brought to the door of the jail, soon after which 
the door opened, and John Brown appeared, fol- 
lowed by Sheriff Campbell and John Avis, the 
jailer. As John Brown passed out he said, " Good- 
bye " to several whom he recognized, and some of 
whom had done him little acts of kindness during 
his imprisonment. To one of the guards he handed 
a slip of paper on which he had written the follow- 
ing prophetic words : — 

•* Charlestown Jail, December 2nd, 1859. 
'* I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of 
this guilty land will never be washed away except with blood. 
I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without much 
bloodshed it might be done." 

These, his last written words, were sent to me by 
John Avis, his jailor. John Brown quickly mounted 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 101 

the waggon, and seated himself on the coffin which 
was soon to contain his lifeless remains. The pretty 
story of his kissing a negro child as he was leaving 
the jail, has no foundation in fact. The only re- 
marks he made while being driven to the field 
where the execution took place, were in reference 
to the natural beauty of the surrounding country. 
From the jail to the scafibld he was closely sur- 
rounded by soldiers. When the procession reached 
the scafibld, John Brown stepped from the waggon 
and was the first to mount the steps, followed by 
the sherifi* and jailor. John Brown's step was firm, 
his bearing solemn, cool and brave. Around him 
were hundreds of Virginians in warlike array, the 
forms of many men who were soon to die violent 
deaths as traitors to their country. Near the gal- 
lows stood Stonewall Jackson in command of his 
cadets, with John Wilkes Booth (the assassin of 
President Lincoln) as one of his volunteers. Jack- 
son was killed while fighting against his country. 
Seated on a beautiful liorse was General Asliby — 
he too died a violent death in the rebel ranks, 
Near by stood tlie contemptible Jeft* Thompson, 
who had brought from Missouri a rope with which 
to hang John Brown. He too served and survived 
the rebellion to endure poverty and contempt. Gov. 
Wise, who signed John Brown's death warrant, 
fought as a rebel against his country, and survived 
to see a daughter of John Brown teaching tlie child- 

102 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

ren of Freedmen in his home. Nearly all the rank 
and file that surrounded that scaffold died violent 
deaths in the battles of the slaveholders' rebellion, 
and the few who survive live to see John Brown 
vindicated in every slave that now receives wages 
for his labor. 

When John Brown ascended the gallows he stood 
erect, cool and steady. He wore a broad-brimmed 
felt hat. His clothing was plain and scrupulously 
clean. His white beard had been cut somewhat 
shorter than usually worn. His every movement 
was grave, gentle and dignified. The sheriff ap- 
proached him and covered his face. When he was 
placed upon the trap he said, " Be quick ; do not 
keep me waiting." Then began a series of fussy 
movements by the military, which occupied fully 
ten minutes, after which the trap fell, and the spirit 
of John Brown joined his comrades in the spirit 
land. There were few, we fancy, of those who that 
day witnessed the death of Jolni Brown, who im- 
agined that his name would outlive the name of the 
politicians and so-called statesmen of that day. 
Virginia, in her pride and strength, judicially mur- 
dered John Brown ; but the day is not far distant 
when the freedmen and freemen of the South will 
erect a monument on the spot where he gave up liis 
life, a willing sacrifice for the cause of human free- 

The memory ol' Jolm Hi-owii will grow brighter 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 103 

and brighter through all coming ages, and long 
after the Southern statesmen who shouted for his 
death are mouldering in the silent dust forgotten, 
or unpleasantly remembered, the name of John 
Brown, of Osawatomie, will be a household word 
with millions yet unborn. 


From Mary A. Broicn, Widow of G apt. John Brown, the Martyr. 

Dear Friend, — * * * My husband often spoke of you as 
being one of his most faithful and sincere friends. Your tender 
and kindly sympathy for his afflicted family in those terrible days 
of '59 will never be forgotten by me. I send you a lock of his 
hair in remembrance of your friendship. * * * 

From John Brown, Jr., Son of Gapt. John Brown, the Martyr. 

My Dear Friend, — All honor to you for the courage and de- 
votion to the cause of liberty which led you to peril your life 
again and again for those who had no other ckim on you than 
that of common humanity. You may indeed feel gratified by 
the medals, diplomas of honor and royal decorations conferred 
on you by the learned societies and crowned heads of Europe, 
yet these are toys compared with that which entitles you to be 
known as the tried and true friend oj mankind. * * * 

From Oiven Brown, son oJ Gapt. John Brown, the Martyr. 

* * * I shall hold you in lasting remembrance for your 
fidelity to father, and the cause he died in serving. You have 
my earnest hopes for your success, though any one of your stamp 
who will exercise such unfaltering persistance against so many 
kinds of difficulties will surely succeed. 

104 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

From Ruth Brotcn, Eldest Daughter of Gapt. John Brown, the 


* * * 1 wish every person in our land knew how noble and 
self-sacrificing you have been. * * * i wish you could have 
seen father when you went to Virginia. To have seen you again 
would have done him more good than all the prayers of all the 
pro-slavery ministers in the world. 

From Annie Brown, youngest daughter of Capt. John Brown, the 


I wish to express my unbounded gratitude to you for placing 
my father before the world in his true light. You comprehended 
him, you hieiu him. * * * 



John Brown died on the scaffold for the slave ; 
Dark was the hour when we dug his hallowed grave ; 
Now God avenges the life he gladly gave — 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 

Glory, glory, hallelujah, 
Glory, glory, hallelujah, 
Glory, glorj^ hallelujah, 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 

John Brown sowed, and his harvesters are we ; 
Honor to him who has made the bondmen free ! 
Loved evermore shall our noble ruler be ; 
Freedom reigns to-daj- ! 

Glory, glory, hallelujah, &c. 

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave ; 
Bright o'er the sod let the starrj- banner wave ; 
Lo ! for the millions he perilled all to save, 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 
Glory, &c. 

Memoirs of a Reforme/r. 105 

John Brown's soul through the world is marching on ; 
Hail to the hour when oppression shall be gone ! 
All men will sing in the better ages' dawn, 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 
Glory, etc. 

John Brown dwells where the battle strife is o'er ; 
Hate cannot harm him, nor sorrow stir him more ; 
Earth will remember the martyrdom he bore ; 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 
Glory, &c. 

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave ; 
John Brown lives in the triumphs of the brave ; 
John Brown's soul not a higher joy can crave ; 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 

Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
Freedom reigns to-day ! 

JOHN brown's men Af HARPEIl'S FERRY. 

The men that John Brown gathered about him 
for his last fight with slavery were men like him- 
self of heroic mould. They were young men in the 
full morning of life. They were each attached to 
him by the subtle magnetism that attracts the 
lesser to the greater. Like John Brown, they were 
earnest men, haters of tyranny and injustice, and 
lovers of freedom. They were each and all God- 
fearing men, of staunch moral character, temperate, 
truthful, sincere and brave. No profane word or 
jest was heard from their lips. In their devotion, 

MeTnoirs of a Reformer. 107 

fidelity and self-sacrifice, they resembled the " Iron- 
sides" of Cromwell. Their faith and confidence in 
their strong old captain was such that they would, 
as they did, follow him without a murmur into the 
very "jaws of death." It is meet, right, and just 
that these heroic men should have a place in history, 
by the side of their fearless old leader. 


Aaron D. Stevens and John H. Kagi wQre Capt. 
Brown's right-hand men during the Kansas war for 
freedom, and at Harper's Ferry, Stevens was wound- 
ed, taken prisoner and executed. Kagi was driven 
into the river by a score of assailants, and cowardly 
murdered. Owen Brown escaped and is still living 
(1892). Oliver and Watson Brown were killed in 
the fight. John E. Cook escaped, was captured, and 
executed. Edwin Coppic, Albert Hazlett, John 
Copeland, Shields Green, and Dangerfield Newby 
were taken prisoners and executed. Stuart Taylor, 
William Lehman, Louis Leary, William and Dauphin 
Thompson, and Jeremiah Anderson were killed in 
the fight. Barclay Coppic, Frank J Merriam, Charles 
Plummer Tidd, and O. P. Anderson escaped. 

Names and rank oj John Brown's men at Harper's Ferry. 


Aaron Dwight Stevens Captain 

John Henry Kagi 

108 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Owen Brown (son of John Brown) Captain 

Oliver Brown " " 

Watson Brown " " 

John E.Cook 

Edwin Coppie Lieutenant 

Albert Hazlett " 

William Lehman ** 


Barclay Coppie, Stuart Taylor, Frank J. Merriman, Louis 
Leary, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Jeremiah Anderson, 
0. P. Anderson, John Copeland, Charles Plummer Tidd, William 
Thompson (son-in-law of John Brown), Dauphin Thompson (son- 
in-law of John Brown). 

Captain Brown expected the slaves would flock 
to his standard in hundreds in case he was success- 
ful, hence the disproportionate number of commis- 
sioned officers in his force. These officers had been 
thoroughly drilled by Colonel Forbes, formerly an 
officer of Garibaldi's army, and it was Captain 
Brown's purpose to organize his colored recruits 
into companies under these officers. 

Never in tlie liistory of the world, did mightier 
results follow tlic actions of a like number of men. 

JOHN brown's "provisional CONSTITUTION." 

On page cSi the reader will find a call from John 
Brown for a convention to be held in Chatham, 
Canada, in May, 1858. The convention met on the 
day appointed and formed a " Provisional Constitu- 
tion," and elected a president and other civil officers. 

MeTfioirs of a Reformer. 109 

John Brown was appointed Commander-in-Chief, 
John Henry Kagi, Secretary of War, and Owen 
Brown, Treasurer of the military forces. This 
" Provisional Constitution " was to be John Brown's 
shield and authority as Commander-in-Chief, and 
it was by virtue of this authority that his officers 
were commissioned. 

Copy of Broivn's commission to his Officers. 
Headquarters, War Dept. , 

Near Harper's Ferry, Md, , 

October 15th, 1859. 
Greeting : 

Whereas, Oiven Brown has been nominated a captain in the 
army, established under the provisional constitution. 

Now, therefore, in pursuance of the authority vested in us by 
said constitution, we do hereby appoint and commission the said 
Owen Broivn, a captain. 

Given at the office of the Secretary of War, this October 15th, 

Commander in-Chief. 
J. H. Kagi, 

Secretary of War. 

(The original is printed except the words in italics, which are 
in the writing of Kagi. ) 


Number of Refugees in Canada — Negro Slave's Escape to Can- 
ada — Cruelty and Injustice of the Fugitive Slave Law — Presi- 
dential Election, 1860. 


I SPENT the next three months in Canada, visiting 
those refugees in whom I had taken a personal in- 
terest. I found six in Chatham, two in London, 
four in Hamilton, two in Amherstburgh, and one in 
Toronto — fifteen in all ; while several had gone from 
Canada to New England. It afforded me great 
satisfaction to find them sober, industrious members 
of society. It has often been remarked by both 
Canadians and visitors from the States, that the 
negro refugees in Canada were superior specimens 
of their race. The observation is true ; for none 
•but those possessing superior qualities could hope 
to reach Canada. The difficulties and dangers of 
the route, and the fact that they were often closely 
pursued for weeks by human foes and by blood- 
hounds, required the exercise of rare qualities of 
mind and body. Their route would often lay through 
dismal swamps inhabited only by wild animals and 

poisonous reptiles. Sometimes the distance between 


Memoirs of a Reformer. Ill 

the land of bondage and freedom was several hun- 
dreds of miles, every mile of which had to be 
traversed on foot. It is, indeed, surprising that so 
large a number of fugitives succeeded in reaching 
Canada, considering the obstacles they had to con- 
tend with on their long and dangerous journey. 

The number of refugee negroes in Canada at the 
outbreak of the Slaveholders' Rebellion, was not far 
short of forty thousand. Probably more than half 
of them were manumitted slaves who, in consequence 
of unjust laws, were compelled to leave the States 
where they were manumitted. Many of these 
negroes settled in the Northern States, but the 
greater portion of them came to Canada. 

The following simple lines were familiar to most 
of the fugitives in Canada thirty years ago : — 


♦' I'm on my way to Canada, that free and happy land, 
The cruelty of slavery I can no longer stand. 
My soul is grieved within me to think that I'm a slave, 
And I'm resolved to strike a blow for freedom or the grave. 
Farewell, farewell, old master, I'm on my way to Canada, 
Where colored men are free." 

♦' I heard old master pray last night, I heard him pray for me, 
That God would come with might and power and me from 
Satan free. 

112 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

So I from Satan would be free and flee the wrath to come, 
But if Satan is in human form, old master's surely one. 
Farewell, farewell, old master, I'm on the road to Canada, 
Dear land of liberty." 

" I've heard that Queen Victoria, if we would all forsake 
Our native land of slavery and come across the lake. 
That she was waiting on the shore with arms extended wide, 
To give us all a peaceful home in Canada by her side. 
Farewell, farewell, old master, that's good enough for me, 
I'm on my way to Canada, dear land of liberty." 

" The hounds are baying on my track and master's close behind, 
Resolved that he will take me back before I cross the line. 
I no more dread the auctioneer, nor fear the master's frown, 
I no more tremble when I hear the baying of the hound. 
Farewell, farewell, old master, I've just arrived in Canada, 
Where every man is free ; God bless Canada ! " 


When the Fugitive Slave Law was enacted in 
1850, it carried terror to every person of African 
blood in the Free States. Stung with hopeless 
despair, more than six thousand Christian men and 
women fled from their homes, and sought refuge 
under the flag of Britain in Canada. In the words 
of Charles Sumner : — 

"The Free States became little better than a huge outlying 
plantation, quivering under the lash of the overseer ; or rather 
they were a diversified hunting ground for the flying bondman, 
resounding always with the ' halloo ' of the huntsman. There 
seemed to be no rest. The chase was hardly finished at Boston, 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 113 

before it broke out at Philadelphia, Syracuse or Buffalo, and 
then agaiji raged furiously over the prairies of the west. Not a 
case occurred which did not shock the conscience of the country, 
and sting it with anger. The records of the time attest the 
accuracy of this statement." 

Perhaps there is no instance in history where 
human passion showed itself in grander forms of 
expression, or where eloquence lent all her gifts 
more completely to the demands of liberty, than the 
speech of Theodore Parker (now dead and buried 
in a foreign land), denouncing the capture of Thos. 
Simms, at Boston, and invoking tlie judgment of 
God and man upon the agents in this wickedness. 
This great effort cannot be forgotten in the history 
of humanity. But every case pleaded with an 
eloquence of its own, until at last one of these 
tragedies occurred which darken the heavens, and 
cry out with a voice that will be heard. It was the 
voice of a mother standing over her murdered child. 
Margaret Garner had escaped from slavery with 
three children, but she was overtaken at Cincin- 
nati. Unwilling to see her offspring returned to 
the shambles of the South, this unhappy mother, 
described in the testimony as " a womanly, amiable, 
affectionate mother," determined to save them in 
the only way within her power. With a butcher 
knife, coolly and deliberately, she took the life 
of one of the children, described as " almost white, 
and a little girl of rare beauty," and attenq^t- 


114 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

ed, without success, to take the life of the other 
two. To the preacher who interrogated her, she 
exclaimed, " The child is my own, given me of God 
to do the best a mother could in its behalf. I have 
done the best I could ; I would have done more and 
better for the rest ; I knew it was better for them 
to go home to God than back to slavery." But she 
Was restrained in her purpose. The Fugitive Slave 
Act triumphed, and after the determination of sun- 
dry questions of jurisdiction, this devoted historic 
mother, with the two children that remained to her, 
and the dead body of the little one just emancipat- 
ed, was escorted by a national guard of armed men 
to the doom of slavery. But her case did not end 
with this revolting sacrifice. So long as the human 
heart is moved by human suffering, the story of 
this mother will be read with alternate anger and 
grief, while it is studied as a perpetual witness to 
the slaveholding tyranny which then ruled the 
Republic with execrable exactions, destined at last 
to break out in war, as the sacrifice of Virginia by 
her father is a perpetual witness to the decemviral 
tyranny which ruled Rome. But liberty is always 
priceless. There are other instances less known, in 
which kindred wrong has been done. Every case 
was a tragedy — under the forms of law. Worse 
than poisoned bowl or dagger was the certificate of 
a United States Commissioner — who was allowed, 
without interruption, to continue his dreadful trade. 

Memoirs of a Beformer. 115 


Durins^ no previous Presidential election (except 
that of 1856, when Fremont and Buchanan were the 
candidates), was there so much excitement on the 
slavery question as that of 1860, when Lincoln 
Breckenridge, Bell, and Douglas, were the candidates. 

To enable my readers to form a correct opinion 
of the political position occupied by the republican 
candidate toward the institution of slavery, I give 
below the "Republican Platform," on which Presi- 
dent Lincoln went before the people for their suff- 
rages : — 


Adopted at Chicaco, 1860. 

Eesolved, — That we, the delegated representatives of the 
Republican electors of the United States, in Convention as- 
sembled, in discharge of the duty we owe to our constituents and 
our country, unite in the following declarations : 

1. That the history of the nation, during the last four years, 
has fully established the propriety and necessity of the organiza- 
tion and perpetuation of the Republican party, and that the 
causes which called it into existence are permanent in their 
nature, and now, more than ever before, demand its peaceful 
and constitutional triumph. 

2. That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the 
Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Con- 
stitution, " That all men are created equal ; that they are en- 
dowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that 
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ; that 

116 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, 
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," is 
essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions ; and 
that the Federal Constitution, the Rights of the States, and the 
Union of the States, must and shall be preserved. 

7. That the new dogma, that the Constitution of its own 
force, carries Slavery into any or all of the Territories of the 
United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with 
the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contemp- 
oraneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent ; 
is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and 
harmony of the country. 

8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United 
States is that of freedom ; That as our Republican fathers, when 
they had abolished Slavery in all our national territory, ordained 
that "no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, 
without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, 
whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provi- 
sion of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it ; and 
we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or 
of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any 
Territory of the United States. 

9. That we brand the recent re-opening of the African slave- 
trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions 
of judicial power, as a crime against humanity and a burning 
shame to our country and age; and we call up n Congress to 
take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final sup- 
pression of that execrable traffic. 

j//I<i<r<l w<r^V 

a4-^ Ch^^ 


// ^^ ^ ^d^. < I ^ ^ ^7^/ ^-/^/.jL , ^ 



CyCk i 


_wf ^HL ' 






Interview with President Lincoln — Confidential Se^^^ce in Can- 
ada—Second Interview with the President— The President an 
Abolitionist — Office Seekers — Confederates in Canada— Rebel 
Postal Service— With thePresident— Rebel Dispatches— Rebels 
in New Brunswick— Mr. Lincoln's Kindness — Hospitalities of 
the White House— "Oh, why should the Spirit of Mortal be 
Proud?" — Leave for New Brunswick — Occupy a State-room 
with a Rebel— His Arrest— President Lincoln's Patience and 
Justice— Persecution of Joshua R. Giddings — His Arrest- 
Death of Mr. Giddings— Efforts of the Author to Awaken 
Kindly Feelings Toward the United States— A Favorite Rebel 
Resort— Southern Schemes— With the Army of the Potomac 
—Step Towards Emancipation— The Emancipation Proclama- 
tion—Ratification of the Constitutional Amendment and Pro- 
clamation of Freedom—" Laus Deo "—Complimentary Letters 
from President Lincoln, Governor Fen ton, of New York, and 
Charles Sumner— Offer of Services to Mexico— Benito Juarez 
— Natural History Labors. 

THE slaveholders' REBELLION. 

For many weeks after the death of Gapt. Brown, I 
felt that the clef eat of his plans at Harper's Ferry 
was a great calamity to the enslaved. I saw nothing 
in store for the poor slaves but toil and bondage for 
another generation. For who, at that time, foresaw 
the mighty conflict that was soon to be inaugurated 


118 Memoirs of a Reforoner. 

by the haug'hty slaveholders, by which they and 
their cherished institution were to be completely 

The brave and noble words and conduct of John 
Brown, while in the hands of his murderers, shook 
the institution of slavery to its very foundation. The 
slaveholders fully comprehended that unless they 
could obtain from the North further guarantees for 
the protection of the institution of slavery — that 
secession from the Free States was their only salva- 
tion. Their insolent demands upon the North were 
met by a quiet determination that not another foot 
of the public domain should be given up to slavery. 
Northern politicians had become so accustomed to 
yielding obedience to the commands of the slave- 
drivers, that strong efibrts were made to effect a 
compromise w^ith the pro-slavery leaders in Con- 

But the patience of the peace-loving people of the 
Free States was at length exhausted ; they had sub- 
mitted to the outrageous provisions of the Fugitive 
Slave Law ; they had looked on while the champions 
of freedom in Congress were insulted and assaulted 
by the slave-drivers of the South ; they had borne 
for years the taunts and sneers of the Southern chi- 
valry ; and now they resolved to assert their just 
rights and privileges as citizens of a free country. 

The threats and demands of the slaveholders were 
treated with the contempt they deserved. 

Memoirs of a Reforvier. 119 


A few months after the inauguration of President 
Lincoln, I received a letter from the Hon. Charles 
Sumner, requesting me to come to Washington at 
my earliest convenience. 


The day after my arrival in Washington, I was 
introduced to the President. Mr. Lincoln received 
me very cordially, and invited me to dine with hini. 
Assembled at the President's table were several pro- 
minent gentlemen, to whom Mr. Lincoln introduced 
me as " a red-hot abolitionist from Canada." One 
of the guests, a prominent member of Congress, from 
Indiana (severely injured in after years by the Cre- 
dit Mohilier), said in a slurring manner, " I wish the 
negroes of the United States would emigrate to Can- 
ada, as the Canadians are so fond of their company." 
Mr. Lincoln said, "It would be better for the negroes, 
that's certain." " Yes," I replied, a little warmly, " it 
would be better for the negroes ; for, under our flag, 
the blackest negro is entitled to, and freely accord- 
ed, every right and privilege enjoyed by native 
Canadians. We make no distinction in respect to 
the colour of a man's skin. It is true, we live under 
a monarchial form of government ; but every man 
and woman, white, black or brown, liave equal rights 

120 Mr/nioirs of a Reformer. 

under our laws." Mr. Lincoln, in a jocular way, said 
to the member of Congress, " If you are not careful, 
you will bring on a war with Canada. I think we 
have a big enough job on hand now." 

The conversation then turned on the attitude of 
England toward the Free States in their contest 
with the slaveholders. One gentleman remarked 
that he was surprised to see so many manifestations 
of unfriendliness on the part of the English and 
Canadian people, and asked me how I accounted for 
it. I replied, " How can you expect it otherwise, 
when there exists in your Northern States so much 
diversity of opinion as to the justness of your cause ? 
The unfriendly expressions of an English statesman, 
or the avowed hostility of a few English and Cana- 
dian papers, are noted by you with painful surprise, 
while the treasonable utterances and acts of some of 
your own political leaders and people are quite over- 
looked. Besides, you cannot expect the sympathy 
of Canadians in your behalf, while you display such 
an utter disregard for the rights and liberties of 
your own citizens, as I witnessed in this city yes- 

Mr. Lincoln asked to what I alluded ( I replied, 
" A United States Marshal passed through Washing- 
ton, yesterday, having in his charge a coloured man, 
whom he was taking back to Virginia under your 
Fugitive Slave Law. The man had escaped from his 
master — who is fin open rebel — and fled to Wilming- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 121 

ton, Delaware, where he was arrested, and taken 
back into slavery." 

After dinner, Mr. Lincoln led me to a window, 
distant from the rest of the party, and said, " Mr. 
Sunmer sent for you at my request. We need a 
faithful friend in Canada to look after our inter- 
ests, and keep us posted as to the schemes of the 
Confederates in Canada. You have been strongly 
recommended to me for the position. Your com- 
munications may be sent direct to me. Think it 
over to-night ; and if you can accept the mission, 
come up and see me at nine o'clock to-morrow morn- 
ing." When I took my leave of him, he said, " I 
hope you will decide to serve us." I concluded to 
accept the responsibilities of the mission, being per-^ 
suaded to this conclusion by the wishes of the Presi- 
dent and my friend Mr. Sumner. 


At nine o'clock next morning, I waited upon the 
President, and announced my decision. He grasped 
my hand in a hearty manner, and said. " Thank 
you ; thank you ; I am glad of it." I said, " Mr. 
Lincoln, if the purpose of your Government is the 
liberation from bondage of the poor slaves of the 
South, I shall feel justified in accepting any posi- 
tion where I could best serve you ; but when I see 
so much tenderness for that vile institution and for 

122 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

the interests of slaveholders, I question whether 
your efforts to crush the rebellion will meet with 
the favour of Heaven." He repKed, " I sincerely 
wish that all men were free ; and I especially wish 
for the complete abolition of slavery in this coun- 
try ; but my private wishes and feelings must yield 
to the duties of my position. My first duty is, to 
maintain the integrity of the Union. With that 
object in view, I shall endeavour to save it, either 
with or without slavery. I have always been an 
anti-slavery man. Away back in 1839, when I was 
a member of the Legislature of Illinois, I presented 
a resolution asking for the emancipation of slavery 
in the District of Columbia, when, with but few ex- 
ceptions, the popular mind of my State was opposed 
to it. If the institution of slavery is destroyed, and 
the slaves set free, as a result of this conflict which 
the slaveholders have forced upon us, I shall rejoice 
as heartily as you. In the meantime, help us to 
circumvent the machinations of the rebel agents in 
Canada. There is no doubt they will use your 
country as a communicating link with Europe, and 
also with their friends in New York. It is quite 
possible also that they may make Canada a base, 
to harass and annoy our people along the frontier." 
After a lengthy conversation relative to private 
matters connected with my mission, I rose to leave, 
when he said, " I'll walk down to ' Willard's' with 
you : the hotel is on my way to the Capitol, where 
I have an engagement at noon." 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 123 


Before we reached the hotel, a man approached 
the President, and thrust a letter into his hand, 
at the same time applying for some office in Wis- 
consin. I saw that the President was offended at 
the rudeness, for he passed the letter back with- 
out looking at it, saying emphatically, " No, sir ! I 
am not going to open shop here." This was said in 
a most emphatic manner, but accompanied by a 
comical gesture, which caused tbe rejected applicant 
to smile. As we continued our walk, the President 
spoke of the annoyances incident to his position, 
saying, " These office-seekers are a curse to this 
country. No sooner was my election certain, than 
I became the prey of hundreds of hungry, persis- 
tent applicants for office, whose highest ambition is 
to feed at the government crib." When he bid me 
good-bye, he said, " Let me hear from you once a 
week at least." As he turned to leave me, a young 
army officer stopped him, and made some request, 
to which the President replied with a good deal of 
humour : " No ; I can't do that. I must not inter- 
fere ; they would scratch my eyes out, if I did. You 
must go to the proper department." 

As I watched the President wending his way to- 
wards the Capitol, I was deeply impressed with the 
dreadful responsibility that rested upon him ! The 

124 Mer}ioirf^ of a Reformer. 

hopes of inillions of Republicans throughout the 
world were fixed upon him ; while twenty millions 
of his own people looked to him for the salvation 
of the Republic, and four millions of poor down- 
trodden slaves in tlie South looked to him for free- 

Mr. Lincoln was no ordinary man. He had a 
quick and ready perception of facts, a retentive 
memory, and a logical turn of mind, which patient- 
ly and unwaveringly followed every link in the 
chain of thought on every subject which he investi- 
gated. He was honest, temperate, and forgiving. 
He was a good man— a man of noble and kindly 
heart. I never heard him speak unkindly of any 
man ; even the rebels received no word of anger 
from him. 


On my return to Montreal, I sought opportun- 
ities to become acquainted with the names, habits, 
and occupations of the various Confederates in 

The principal Confederate agent in Canada at 
that time was Jacob Thompson, an ex-member of 
Buchanan's administration, whose contemptible con- 
duct, while a member of the Government, in warn- 
ing the rebels of Charleston of the sailing of the 
steamer '' Star of the West" with provisions for the 

Memoirs of a Reformer, 125 

besieged garrison at Fort Sumpter, furnishes a good 
index to his character. The plots and schemes 
devised by him and his subordinates to furnish the 
rebels with clothing, boots and shoes, etc., via Nas- 
sau, Cuba, and to keep open a channel of communi- 
cation with the Confederate States, kept me con- 
tinually on the qui vive to frustrate their designs. 

There prevailed in Canada at this period a very 
strong and active sympathy for the Confederates. 
Indeed, I may say, that among the wealthy and in- 
fluential classes there were few but what Avished 
for the success of the slaveholders, and the conse- 
quent disruption of the Union. This was not from 
any love for slavery, but rather a reflex of the 
sympathy manifestsd by the higher classes in Eng- 
land for the Confederacy. To overcome this pre- 
judice against the Northern cause, and awaken 
kindly sympathies for the people of the Free States 
in the contest with slavery, was the object of my 
earnest efibrts. To assist me in accomplishing that 
purpose, I brought before the Canadian people the 
claims of the Sanitary Commission of the United 
States Army, an organization that excited the 
generous impulses of Christians of all denomina- 
tions and classes. 

The Montreal Daily Witness, in alluding to this 
subject at the time, said : — 

" The United States Sanitary Commission has opened branches 
in three of the European capitals, London, Paris and Berlin ; 

126 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

and from the London branch alone a large amount of pecuniary 
aid has been remitted. Dr. A. M. Ross has opened another 
branch in this city. We know of no agency more likely to 
awaken kindly feelings here, towards the United States, than 
this. Dr. Ross informs us, indeed, that this is the object of the 
Commission in forming their foreign offices, which give an 
opportunity of circulating information which may remove preju- 
dice, and of receiving benefits and awakening kindly sympathies 
for the sick and wounded soldiers." 


Toward the close of 1862, I discovered that a 
regular system of postal service was in operation 
between the Confederate States and Europe, via 
Detroit, Montreal and Boston. After weeks of dili- 
gent search, the detectives arrested a woman who 
regularly passed between Detroit and Boston, via 
Montreal and Rouse's Point, N.Y., once a fortnight. 
She was despoiled of her mail, and placed in prison. 
I carried the " mail" to Washington, arriving there 
at midnight, and went direct to the White House 
and sent my card to the President, who had retired 
to bed. In a few minutes the porter returned and 
requested me to accompany him to the President's 
room, wdien the President would soon join me. 
The room into which I was ushered was the same 
in which 1 had spent several hours with the Presi- 
dent on the occasion of my first interview with 
him. Scattered about the floor, and lying open on 
tlie table, were several military maps and docu- 
ments indicating recent use. On the w^all hung a 

Mewioirs of a ReforiYier. 127 

picture of that noble friend of freedom, John 
Bright, of England. 


In a few minutes, the President came in, and wel- 
comed me in the most friendly manner. I express- 
ed my regret at disturbing him at such an hour. 
He replied in a good-humoured manner, saying, 
" No, no ; you did right ; you may waken me when- 
ever you please. I have slept with one eye open 
ever since 1 came to Washington : I never close both, 
except when an office-seeker is looking for me." " I 
am glad (referring to a letter I had sent him) you 
are pleased with the Emancipation Proclamation : 
but there is work before us j^et. We must make 
that Proclamation effective by victories over our 
enemies. It is a paper bullet after all, and of no 
account, except we can sustain it." I expressed my 
belief that the cause of the Union would pros- 
per now that justice had been done to the poor 
ne;4ro. He replied, " I hope so ! The suffering and 
misery that attends this conflict is killing me by 
inches. I wish it was over ! " 


I then laid before the President the " rebel mail." 
He carefully examined the address of each letter, 
making occasional remarks. At lengtli he found 

128 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

one addressed to Franklin Pierce, ex-President of 
the United States, then residing in New Hampshire, 
and another to ex- Attorney General Gushing, a 
resident of Massachusetts. He appeared much sur- 
prised, and remarked with a sigh, but, without the 
slightest tone of asperit3^ " I will have these letters 
enclosed in official envelopes, and sent to these 
parties." When he had finished examining the ad- 
dresses, he tied up all those addressed to private 
individuals, saying, " I won't bother with them ; 
but these look like official letters : I guess I'll go 
through them now." He then opened them, and 
read their contents slowly and carefully. 

While he was thus occupied reading the letters I 
had brought him I had an excellent opportunity of 
studying this extraordinary man. A marked change 
had taken place in his countenance since my hrst in- 
terview with him. He looked much older, and bore 
traces of having passed through montlis of painful 
anxiety and trouble. Tliere was a sad, serious look 
in liis eyes that spoke louder tluin words, of disap- 
pointments, trials, and discouragements lie liad en- 
countered since tlie war began. The wrinkles about 
the eyes and forehead were deeper ; the lips were 
firmer, but indicative of kindness and forbearance. 
The great struggle had brought out the hidden 
riches of his noble nature, and developed virtues 
and capacities which surprised liis oldest and most 
intimate friends. He was simple, but astute ; he 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 129 

possessed the rare faculty of seeing things just as 
they are ; he was a just, charitable, and honest man. 

MR. Lincoln's mission. 

If ever an individual was specially fitted and or- 
dained to perform a special service, that individual 
was Abraham Lincoln. No parent could evince a 
warmer interest in the welfare of his family than 
he did for the safety and welfare of his country. 
Every faculty he possessed was devoted to the sal- 
vation of the Union. 

" How humble, yet how hopeful he could be ; 
How in good fortune and in ill, the same ; 
Nor bitter in success, nor boastful he, 
Thirsty for gold, nor feverish for fame. 

He went about his work, such work as few 
Ever had laid on head, and heart, and hand. 

As one who knows, where there's a task to do, 

Man's honest will must heaven's good grace command. 

So he went forth to battle, on the side 

That he felt clear was Liberty's and Right's, 

As in his peasant boyhood he had plied 

His warfare with rude nature's thwarting mights. 

So he grew up a destined work to do ; 

And lived to do it : four long, suffering years, 
111 fate, ill feeling, ill report, lived through. 

And then he heard the hisses change to cheers. 

The taunts to tributes, the abuse to praise. 

And took both with the same unwavering mood." 


130 Memoirs of a Reformer. 


Having finished reading a letter, he said, " Read 
this (handing me a letter signed by the Confederate 
Secretary of State), and tell me what you think of 
it." The letter was addressed to the rebel envoy 
at the French Court, and stated that preparations 
were being made to invade the Eastern frontier of 
the United States in the vicinity of Calais, Maine. 
It also expressed the opinion that an attack in so 
unexpected a quarter would dishearten the Northern 
people and encourage the Democrats to oppose the 
continuation of the war. 

I told the President that this confirmed the truth 
of information I liad communicated to him several 
weeks previously, that the rebels were preparing to 
raid on some of the Eastern States from the British 
Provinces. He replied, " That's so ! You liad better 
go down to New Brunswick, and see what the rebels 
are up to. The information contained in the des- 
patches I have read is of great importance. Tliere 
are two despatches whicli I cannot read, as they are 
in ciplu^r : l»ut 111 find some way to get at their con- 

I then rose to go, saying that I would go to " Wil- 
lard's " and have a rest. " No, no," said the Presi- 
dent, " it is now three o'clock, you shall stay with 
mo while you ai-e in town : I'll find you a bed," 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 131 

and leading the way he entered a bedroom, saying, 
" Take a good sleep : you shall not be disturbed." 
Bidding me " Good night," he left, to return to his 
investigation of the rebel letters. 


I did not awake from my sleep until eleven 
o'clock in the forenoon, soon after which Mr. Lin- 
coln came into my room, and laughingly said, 
" When you are ready, I'll pilot you down to break- 
fast," which he did, and, seating himself at the 
table near me, expressed his fears that trouble was 
brewing on the New Brunswick border; that he 
had gathered further information on that point 
from the correspondence, which convinced him that 
sucli was the case. He was here interrupted by a 
servant, who lianded him a card, uj^on reading 
which he arose, saying, "The Secretary of War has 
received important tidings; I must leave you for 
the present. CJome to my room after breakfast, 
and we'll talk over this New Brunswick affair." 

On entering his room, I found him busily en- 
gaged in writing, at the same time repeating in a 
low voice the words of a poenj, which I remembered 
reading many years before. When he stopped 
writing, I asked him who was the author of tluit 
poem. He replied, " I do not know. I have written 
the verses down from memory, at the request of a 

182 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

lady who is much pleased with them." He passed 
the sheet, on wdiieh he had written the verses, to 
me, saying-, " Have you ever read them ? " I re- 
plied that I had many years previously, and that I 
should be pleased to have a copy of them in his 
handwriting', when he had time and inclination for 
such work. He said, " Well, you may keep that 
copy, if you w^ish." 

The following is the poem, as written down by 
Mr. Lincoln : — 



Oh I ^vlly should the spirit of mortal be proud ? 
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud, 
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, 
He passeth from life to his rest in the grave. 

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade, 
Be scattered around and together be laid ; 
As the young and the old, the low and the high. 
Shall crumble to dust, and together shall lie. 

The infant a mother attended and loved ; 
The mother that infant's affection who proved ; 
The father, that mother and infant who blest — 
Kach, all are away to that dwelling of rest. 

The maid, on whose brow, on whose cheek, in whose eye, 
Shone l>eTiity and pleasure — her triuinj)hs are by ; 
And alike fiom tht* minds of the living erasetl, 
Are llie uieiiiories of niurtals that loved her and praiwed. 

Memow ,of a Reformer. 18o 

The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne ; 
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn ; 
The eye of the sage, the heart of the brave, 
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave. 

The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap, 
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats np the steep, 
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread, 
Have faded away like the grass which wc tread. 

So the multitude goes, like the flower or the weed, 
That withers away to let others succeed ; 
So the multitude comes, even those we behold, 
To repeat every tale that has often been told. 

For we are the same our fathers have l)een ; 
We see the same sights they often have seen ; 
We drink the same stream, we see the same sun, 
And run the same course our fathers have run. 

The thoughts we are thinking our fathers did think ; 
From the death we are shrinking our fathers did shrink ; 
To the life we are clinging, our fathers did cling. 
But it speeds from us all like the bird on the wing. 

They loved — but the story we cannot unfold ; 
They scorned—but the heart of the haughty is cold ; 
They grieved — but no wail from their slumbers will come ; 
They joyed— but the tongue of their gladness is dumb. 

They died ; ah, they died. We, things that are now. 
That walk on the turf that lies over their brow, 
And make in their dwelling a transient abode, 
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road. 

Yea, hope and despondency, pleasure and pain. 
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain ; 
And the smile and the tear, and the song and the dirge. 
Still follow each other like surge upon surge. 

184 Mcrnoir^ of a Reformer. 

'Tis the M'ink of an eye, thedraughb of a breath, 
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death ; 
From the gilded siloon to the bier and the shroud. 
0\\ I why should the spirit of moital be proud? 

" Pn.sf'MiHl /o Dr. J^oss hi/ 



The rebel dijcuuieiits contfiiiied almudMiit evidence 
that the Confederates were oj-ganiziiio- a band in 
Canada to raid upon tlie United States frontier, 
and the President was anxious tliat I sliould o-o to 
New Brunswick and, if possible, ascei'tain what 
the rebels were up to in that (piarter. 

I left Washington that night, and arrived in Bos- 
ton in time to take the steamer for St. John, X.B. 
The boat was crowded with passengers, and I had 
to share n\y stateroom with a gentleman who came 
aboard at Portland. The features of my room 
companion were dark and coarse : his hair, l)lack 
and long. He was about six feet in height, of 
tough and v»nry frame. His language and general 
ap})eai'ance were strikingly Southern. I selected 
the top berth, and retired before him, so that I 
might the more readily observe him : for I had 
strong suspicions that he was a (^onfedei'ate, which 
he proved to be. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 185 


When he entered the stateroom, he introduced 
liiniself as the owner oi' one of the ])erths, and 
said : " I am glad you are not a Yankee." " How 
do you know ? " I asked. " The clerk told me you 
were a Canadian, and tlie Canadians are all on our 
side." I easily engaged him in talking ; he was a 
boastful braggart, fond of whiskey, of which he 
drank freely. I remarked that I was tired of hear- 
ing threats and boasts of wliat they, "the Confeder- 
ates were going to do." 'I his nettled my comjDa- 
nion, and he exclaimed, "Well, sir ! you'll soon hear 
that we hove done something. We have many 
picked men in St. Andrews and St. John, New 
Brunswick, and we have a good supply of stores on 
Grand Menan Island. 1 expect thirty men from 
Canada next week. As soon as they arrive we will 

prepare for an attack on Eastport ; and, by , 

we intend to wipe it out. And then we will attack 
Calais in the rear, and, if hard pressed, retreat into 
New Brunswick." 

This astounding news corroborated the informa- 
tion obtained from tlie captured letters. 


On the arrival of the steamer at Eastport, my 
new acquaintance was arrested, and I telegraphed 

136 Memoirs of a Reforin&i\ 

to Mr. Lincoln the information obtained. A reve- 
nue cutter was immediately sent to Eastport. The 
Provincial authorities were warned, and prompt 
steps taken to prevent any infraction of the Neu- 
trality Laws on the New Brunswick border. 


Several weeks after my return from New Bruns- 
wick, I was requested by the President to come to 
Washington. On reporting to him, he said, " Doc- 
tor, I want you to go to Richmond, and endeavour 
to obtain the consent of the confederate authorities 
to treat our colored soldiers, now prisoners in their 
hands, as prisoners of war subject to exchange. As 
you are a Canadian, you will have more influence 
than any one I can think of," adding, " Of course 
you go simply as a friend of the colored race, and 
entirely on your own hook. You will be carried to 
the front, and turned loose to find your way to 
Richmond as best you can." 


On the following day I reached the confederate 
lines. After perceiving a rebel soldier, I waved a 
handkerchief and approached him. When within 
several yards of him, he ordered me to halt, and 
asked who I was, and where from. Having satis- 
fied him, he led me to his commander, who forward- 
ed me to General Lee's headquarters. 

Memoirs of a Reforyiier. 137 


I was taken into a large room, where there were 
many officers in uniform, some writing, others ex- 
amining maps and in conversation. The officer wdth 
me announced my name, when an elderly gentleman 
approached me, saying, " I am General Lee ; I am 
told you desire to go to Richmond. What is the 
business that takes you there ? " This w^as said in 
a quiet, gentlemanly manner, which, together with 
his form and bearing, favorably impressed me. I 
regretted that so noble a man should be engaged in 
so unrighteous a cause. He listened respectfully to 
Avhat I had to say, and then directed an officer to 
accompany me to Richmond. 



On the day following I was introduced to Mr. Ben- 
jamin. On being brought face to face with him mj' 
impression was, here is a smooth, oily, cunning, 
treacherous and deceitful man. He asked me to be 
seated and, seating himself, said, " Please state your 
business with the Government." While i was talking 
a door opened behind me and some person quietly 
entered the room and appeared to be listening to my 
intercession for the colored soldiers. When I had 
concluded, Mr. Benjamin said, " We cannot for one 

1S8 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

minute entertain sucli a ^proposition, and Lincoln 
knew it before you left Washington." At this point 
a pale, thin, bilious-looking man approached me and 
in a quick, nervous voice said, "Tell Mr. Lincoln that 
we will not accord the right of exchange to our fugi- 
tive slaves whom he has armed and sent out to as- 
sasinate us. We will treat every colored soldier 
we capture as a fugitive slave. It is useless to dis- 
cuss this matter." Jefferson Davis (for it was he 
who had spoken) had changed greatly in appear- 
ance since I first saw him in 1850. He was much 
thinner, and had a careworn look. He spoke slowly, 
but the tone indicated bitterness and hate towards 
the North. Early next morning I was conveyed to 
the outposts opposite Fortress Monroe, and from 
thence to Washington. 


Mr. Lincoln cordially welcomed me l^ack and ex- 
pressed his gratitude for my services. When I in- 
formed him of the result of my mission he said, 
" Well, I did not expect any other result: if that is 
their determination we shall have to wait until they 
become more reasonable. It's bad for our colored 
boys. They must take care and not get captured." 
During my stay in Washington T was the guest of 
Mr. Lincoln and enjoyed man 3^ opportunities for 
studying the charaetei" of this extraordinary man. 

Meinoirs of a Ueforraer. 139 

MR. Lincoln's patience and justice. 

Many complaints had reache<l the President of 
tlie disloyalty ' of two prominent federal officers 
of the civil service in Baltimore. The President 
wrote to me as follows : — " I am in doubt as to the 
justice of the complaints made against them. Will 
vou, please, satisfy yourself as to the matter, and 
inform me ? Take sufficient time to be well satis- 

Both of the officials were found to be traitors, 
using their official position to injure the govern- 
ment that fed them. Both made their escape to the 
confederacy, and to my chagrin the President ex- 
pressed himself as glad that he was well rid of 

persecution of .JOSHUA P.. (JlDDINCiS. 

The cruel and unnecessary arrest of the Hon. 
Joshua R. Giddings, Consul-General of the United 
States, at Montreal, for the alleged connivance at 
the kidnapping of one Redpath, was incited by the 
Confederate agents. Redpath had fled to Canada 
to escape punishment for murder committed during 
the draft riots in New York. A United States de- 
tective followed Redpath to Montreal, and arrested 
him. He was ironed, placed in a close carriage, and 
driven to the depot, where he was guarded l)y an 

140 Memoir ft of a Reformer. 

assistant, wliile the detective went to the Unite<l 
States Consulate, and told Mr. Giddings that he 
had arrested a man charged with murder in New 
York : that he had complied with the requirements 
of the extradition treaty, and requested Mr. Gid- 
dings to give him a letter to General Dix, advising 
compensation for the services of an assistant to 
convey Redpath to New York. Mr. Giddings, with- 
out ascertaining (for which lie was in fault) whether 
all the formalities of the extradition treaty had 
been complied with, gave the detective a note to 
General Dix, in which he simply requested the 
General to remunerate the detective for the service 
of an assistant. 

When the detective reached New York wnth his 
prisoner. Redpath obtained legal assistance, the 
result of which was, that the Canadian authorities 
demanded the return of Redpath to Canada. He 
was brought back and liberated. Then the Southern 
agents in Montreal took charge of this murderer, 
and induced him to prosecute Mr. Giddings. This 
was done to gratify their feelings of hatred toward 
a man who had for thirty years fought for the 
cause of human fre<'<lom. 


Mr. Giddings was arrested on Sunday evening, 
wliile dining at the house of a friend. The arrest 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 141 

was made on a clay and at an hour when it was 
hoped he would be unable to obtain bail, and con- 
sequently would have to lie in jail overnight. Two 
prominent and wealthy citizens of Montreal, Har- 
rison Stephens and Ira Gould, gave bonds for thirty 
thousand dollars for Mr. Giddings's appearance at 
the trial of the cause. Thus his enemies were baulked 
in their despicable attempt to throw an innocent 
old man into prison. Mr. Giddings was in poor 
health at the time this outrage was perpetrated ; 
and he fretted and grieved over it continually. 

After the rebel agents had used Redpath for their 
purpose, they cast him off. I concluded it was a 
propitious time to rid Mr. Giddings of Redpath and 
this vindictive persecution. 1 found the miserable 
creature, after considerable search, and prevailed 
upon him to withdraw the suit. He confessed that 
the Confederate agents in Montreal had instigated 
him to bring the action against Mr. Giddings. The 
anxiety and annoyance incident to this persecution 
hastened the death of this noble old standard-bearer 
of liberty. 

In reference to this trouble, Mr. Giddings sent me 
the following letter from his home in Ohio, where 
he had gone for a brief rest : — 

Fro/n the Hon. Joshua R. Giddiiiys. 

My very dear friend,— How can I ever repay you for this great 
act of friendship? That miserable m retch Redpath is not so 

142 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

much to blatne as Jacob Thompson, whose wicked brain concocted 
the persecution, and used Redpath as his instrument of torture. 
I am in constant dread that you will be assassinated by these 
rebel mercenaries, who are capable of any crime. Heaven pro- 
tect you, my dear friend. 

Yours devotedly, 

Ashtabula, Ohio, April Kith, 1S(>4. 


He died suddenly while amusing himself with a 
game of* billiards in the St. Lawrence Hall. 

The Montreal Daily Witness of that time, in 
speaking of the death of Mr. (liddings, said : 

" One of the few men of any generation who are an object of 
attention to millions, has just passed away from among us, full 
of years and of the respect of all who appreciate unwavering 
principle and courageous perseverance. Mr. Oiddings was quite 
convinced of his dissolution on Saturday last, when he handed 
to Dr. A. M. Ross, of this city, letters addressed to several offi- 
cers of the government, that to Mr. Lincoln being very affection- 
ate. That evening lie spoke of a presentiment that impressed 
him that liis death was near, and added that he had no fear of 
death. During the week he received from Mr. Secretary Chase 
a re(|uest tliat he would prepare an essay on tlie right of citizens 
to recover from the ( iovernment damages for property destroyed 
in war. He wrote one paper taking strong grounds against the 
acknowltHlguient of such claims. This paper he re<|uested Dr. 
Ross to read yesterday morning, that he might correct it, and 
see that the infirmities of age were not visible in it." 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 14^ 


While engaged in circulating information as to 
the objects and purposes of the TL S. Government 
in the conduct of the war, and to remove prejudice 
and awaken kindly feelings towards the United 
States, I was subjected to the vilest abuse from con- 
federate agents and their Canadian abettors. My 
life was often threatened, and a newspaper publish- 
ed in Montreal in the interest of the slaveholders, 
persistently assailed me and incited the enemies of 
freedom to acts of personal violence. I was usually 
referred to as the "nigger thief," " damned Yankee," 
or other expressive names. 

When the enemies of freedom had succeeded in 
hounding Mr. Giddings to death, they opened their 
floodgates of abuse and slander upon me. So out- 
rageous did tlieir c(Hiduct become at last, that as an 
act of simple justice, the following was presented to 
me by the Mayor of Montreal, signed by distin- 
guished Canadians of difterent religious and poli- 
tical creeds : 

"The undersigned citizens of Montreal cheerfully bear testi- 
mony to the honorable and upright character and gentlemanly 
deportment of Dr. Alexander M. Ross, of this city." 

Signed by the Honorable J. L. Beaudry, Mayor of Montreal ; 
Hon. Thomas D'Arcy McGee, M.P. ; Hon. George K. Cartier, 
Ex-Prime Minister of Canada ; Hon. Luther H- Holton, Minister 

144 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

of Finance ; Hon. Charles S. Rodier, Ex-Mayor of Montreal ; 
William Molson, Esq., President Molson's Bank, and Harrison 
Stephens, Ira Gould and Edwin Atwater, Esqs. , tlie most promi- 
nent and wealthy commercial men of the city. 


During the Slaveholders' rebellion, the Donagana 
Hotel, Montreal, was the favorite resort of rebel 
emissarries of both sexes. Here I frequently saw 
Col. Magruder, Bennet Young, Dr. Harold, Dr. Black- 
burn, Jacob Thompson, " Mrs. Williams," " Belle 
Brunette," and many others of rebel proclivities. 
Jacob Thompson (formerly a member of Buchanan's 
cabinet) was a commissioner of the Confederacy, and 
had charofe of the rebel funds in Canada. 


With Jacob Thompson, the rebel connnissioner, I 
formed an acquaintance and found him an intelli- 
gent and agreeable man of ultra democratic views. 
He frankly told me that the Confederate sclieme 
was much broader and more comprehensive than 
was generally known. He said, in substance, that 
when their (the rebel) independence was establish- 
ed, that a scheme of annexation by peaceful or 
forcible means would be inaugurated, by which 
Mexico and the Central and South American Re- 
publics would be annexed to the Confederacy, thus 
forming an innnense Empire " witli human slavery 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 145 

for its base." That, finally, this Confederacy would 
become so powerful as to overshadow the Free 
States and compel them to unite with their Slave 
Empire. Such was the infernal scheme, as unfolded 
to me by Jacob Thompson, who spoke of it as one 
of the certainties of the future. What a blessing to 
the w^orld that their barbarous scheme w^as crushed 
by the armies of freedom. 


On several occasions, during the progress of the 
war, I visited the army of the Potomac, and wit- 
nessed review^s of tens of thousands of soldiers. I 
felt that the spirit of John Brown w^as looking on 
the mighty hosts wdth gratifying approval and de- 
light, as the Union soldiers marched proudly in re- 
view singing the John Brown song, and as regiment 
after regiment caught up the inspiring w^ords, the 
air for miles around was filled with the shout, that 
' John Brown's soul through the world is marching 
on," I felt that " John Brow^i's soul not a higher 
joy could crave " than the success of the armies of 
freedom in their contest with the slaveholders. 


The following Acts and Proclamations illustrate 
the progressive steps by which, in the end, com- 
plete emancipation was reached : — 

146 Memoir-'^ of a Reformer. 

Attention is hereby called to an Act of Congress, entitled 
" An Act to make an additional article of war," approved March 
13, 1862, and which Act is in the words and figures following : — 

Be it enacted by the Senate and JIous<< of Representatives of the 
United States oj America in Congress assembled: That hereafter 
the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of 
war, for the government of the army of the United States, and 
shall be obeyed and observed as such : 

Article. All officers or persons in the military or naval service 
of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the 
forces under their respective commands for the purpose of re- 
turning fugitives from service of labor, who may have escaped 
from any persons to whom such labor is claimed to be due, and 
any officer who shall be found guiltj^ by a court-martial of violat- 
ing this article, shall be dismissed from the service. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That this Act shall take effect 
from and after its passage. 

Also, to the ninth and tenth sections of an Act entitled, " An 
Act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to 
seize and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other pur- 
poses," approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the 
words and figures following : 

Sec. 9. And be it Jurther enacted, That all slaves of persons who 
shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the Government 
of the United States, or who shall in any way giv^e aid or com- 
fort thereto, escaping from such persons, and taking refuge 
within the lines of the army ; and all slaves captured from such 
persons, or deserted by them, and coming under the control of 
the Government of the United States ; and all slaves of such per- 
sons found on (or being within) any place occupied by rebel 
forces, and afterward occupied by the forces of the United States, 
shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their 
servitude, and not again held as slaves. 

Sec. 10. A7id be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into 
any State, territory, or the District of Columbia, from any of 
the States, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hin- 


Mcrnoirs of a Refornirr. 147 

dered of his liberty, except for crime or some offence against the 
laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make 
oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugi- 
tive is alleged to be due, is his lawful owner, and has not been in 
arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in 
any way given aid and comfort thereto ; and no person engaged 
in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under 
any pretence whatsoever, assume to decide on the validity of the 
claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person, 
or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being 
dismissed from the service. 


By the President of the United State>i of America. 

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a Pro. 
clamation was issued by the President of the United States, con- 
taining, among other things, the following, to wit : 

•'That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord 
one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as 
slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people 
whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall 
be then, thenceforth, and forever free^ and the P]xecutive Gov- 
ernment of the United States, including the military and naval 
authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of 
such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, 
or any of them, in any efforts they make for their actual free- 

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January afore- 
said, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, 
if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in 
rebellion against the United States, and the fact that any State, 
or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith repre- 
sented in the Congress of the United States by members cliosen 
thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of 

148 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

such state shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong 
countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that 
.such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against 
the United States." 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in- 
Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of 
actual armed Rebellion against the authority and government of 
the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for 
suppressing said Rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, 
and in accordance with m}- purpose so to do, publicly proclaim 
for the full period of one hundred days from the day of the first 
above-mentioned order, and designate, as the States and part of 
States wherein the people thereof respectively are this day in re- 
bellion against the United States, the following, to wit : Arkan- 
sas, Texas, Louisiana (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Pal- 
quemines, JeflEcrson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, 
Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, an 
Orleans, (including the City of Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, 
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and 
Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West 
Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Acconac, Northamp- 
ton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including 
the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted partg 
are, for the present, left precisely as if this Proclamation had 
not been issued. 

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I 
do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said 
designated States and parts of States are and henceforward shalj. 
BE FREE ! and that the Executive Government of the United 
States, including the Military and Naval authorities thereof, will 
recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. 

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free, 
to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence, and 
I recommend to them that in all cases, when allowed, they labor 
faithfully for reasonable wages. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 149 

And I further declare and make known that such persons of 
suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the 
United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other 
places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. 

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, 
warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke 
the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favour of 
Almighty God. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name, and caused 
the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of Janu- 
ary, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
[L.S.] hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence 

of the United States the eighty- seventh. 

By the President.— William H. Seward, 

Secretary of State. 


On the 18th of December, 1865, Secretaiy Se- 
ward officially announced to the world the olad 
tidinp-s that the Constitutional Amendment abolish- 
ed slavery and involuntary servitude throughout the 
United States, or anyplace subject to their jurisdic- 
tion, as follows: — 

To all to whom tht^ne presents may come, GreetiiK] : 

Knoir ye, That whereas the Congress of the United States, on 

the 1st of February last, passed a resolution, which is in wordss 

following, namely : 

"A resolution submitting to the Legislatures of the several 

States a proposition to amend tho Constitution of the Unil«Ml 


150 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, two-thirds of 
both Houses concurring that the following article be proposed 
to the Legislatures of the several States as an Amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three- 
fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid to all intents and pro- 
poses as a part of said Constitution, namely : 

" "Article XIIL 

" 'Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, ex- 
cept as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have 
been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or 
any place subject to their jurisdiction. 

"'Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this 
article, by appropriate legislation.' "" 

And whereas. It appears from official documents on file of this 
Department, that the Amendment to the Constitution in the 
United States proposed as aforesaid, has been ratified by the 
Legislatures of the States of Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, 
Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Maine, Kansas, Massa- 
chusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, In- 
diana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, 
Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Ala- 
bama, Nortli Carolina, and Ceorgia, in all 27 States. 

And vhereas, The whole number of States in the United 
States is 30. 

And whereas, The before specially named States, whose Legis- 
tures have ratified the said proposed Amendment, constitute 
tliree-fourths of the whole number of States in the United 
States ; 

Now, therefore, be it known that I, William H. Seward, Se- 
cretary of State of the L^nited States, by virtue and in pursuance 
of the second section of the act of Congress, approved the 2()th 
of April, LSIS, entitled "An Act to provide for the publication 
of the laws of the United States, and for other purposes/' do 
liereby certify that the Amendment aforsaid has become valid to 
all intents and puip(»,>ie,s as a pait of the ( onat.itutit>n of the 
United States. 

Memoirs of a Reforrtier. 151 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and 
caused the seal of the Department of State to be affixed. 

Done at the City of Washington, this 18th day of Decem- 
ber, in the year of our Lord I860, and of the Independence of 
the United States of America the 90th. 

Wm. H. Sewaru, Secretary of State. 

Thus terminated the great struggle between Free- 
dom and Slavery in the United States. 



"It is done ! 
Clang of bell and roar of gun ; 

Send the tidings up and doAvn. 
How the belfries rock and reel, 
How the great guns, peal on peal. 

Fling the joy from town to town ! 

Ring, O bells ! 

Every stroke exulting tells 
Of the burial hour of crime. 

Loud and long, that all may hear, 

Ring for every listening ear 
Of eternity and time ! 

Let us kneel : 

God's own voice is in that peal, 
And this spot is holy ground. 

Lord forgive us ! What are we. 

That our eyes this glory see, 
That our ears have heard the sound I 

152 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Loud and long, 

Lift the old, exultant song ; 
Sing with Miriam by the sea ; 

He has cast the mighty down ; 

Horse and rider sink and drown ; 
He has triumphed gloriously. 

Blotted out I 

All within, and all about 
Shall a purer life begin ; 

Freer breathe the universe 

As it rolls its heavy curse 
On the dead and buried sin. 

Ring and swing 

Bells of joy ! on morning's wing 
Send the song of praise abroad ; 

With a sound of broken chains, 

Tell the nations that He reigns 
Who alone is Lord and God ! '' 

Whittier, the Quaker Poet. 

Complimentary letters from President Lincoln, 
(Governor Fenton and Charles Sumner. 
Fiom President Lincoln : — 

P^XECUTivE Mansion, WvsHTNCiTON, 

March 9th, 1865. 
To Dr. A. M. Rof^s^ Montreal : 

Dear Doctor : — The terrible war is rapidly approaching 
its end. I write now to tender you my warmest thanks for the 
many valuable services you have rendered me since 1861. Your 
ability, zeal and fidelity merits and receives my sincere grati- 

Memoirs of a Beforniier. 153 

lude. * * * Accept my best wishes for your future happi- 
ness and prosperity. 

Yours sincerely, 


From Governor Fenton : — 

Executive Department, 

State of New York. 

Albany, April 11th, 186.5. 
My Dear Sir : 

On behalf of the loyal people of this State, I thank you for 
your patriotic services during the war ; your active interest in 
our cause, I assure yon, is highly appreciated. 

Yours very truly, 


Dr. Ross, Montreal. 

From Senator Sumner : — 

Sexate Chamber, \Vasiiin^(;ton, 

•January 31st, ISO,'). 

Dr. A. M. Ross : 

My Dear Friend : — * * * You deserve the thanks of 
this nation for your generous and patriotic labors in our behalf. 
« * * You have done a noble work, and I congratulate you 
on your record. May God bless you, is the prayer of your 


154 Memoirs of a Reformer. 


When the slaveholders' rebellion broke out the 
Emperor Napoleon seized the occasion to invade 
Mexico and overthrow the Republic. He took this 
step, no doubt, in confident expectation that the 
slaveholders would succeed in establishing an em- 
pire on this continent. When, after four years of 
terrible war, the U. S. Government crushed the re- 
bellion and established its supremacy over the whole 
country, the Mexican people made a determined 
effort to drive out their oppressors. I then offered 
my services as surgeon to President Juarez, who 
promptly accepted my offer as follows : 

Mexicax Leoatiox, Washixcton, August 1st. lS6o. 

Dr. Alexander M. Ross, Montreal. 

Dear 8ir, — I am instructed by President Juarez to accept 
your services as Army Surgeon, and to convey to you has high 
appreciation of your patriotic offer in this the darkest hour in the 
history of Mexico. With sentiments of high esteem, I remain, 

Yours faithfully, 

M. Romero, 

Mexican Minister. 

Many of my friends urged uie not to risk my life 
in a struggle so unequal as that between the French 
Empire and poor down-trodden Mexico. 

Wen DELI- Phillips wrote me : — " In the present condition of 
affairs in Mexico, it is time, perhaps life, thrown away to eudea- 


Memoirs of a Reforwer. 155 

vor to aid the Republicans. Take my advice, refrain from going 
— your wish to aid an oppressed race will, I am sure, find ample 
and honorable field and more effectual channels in our still dis- 
tracted country. Save yourself for that, there is more to be done 
here than in Mexico in your day or mine, I am sure." 

Horace Greeley wrote: — "Max. will root out Juarez and 
the Republicans, to be rooted out himself in turn, by the next 
move of revolution, and whether by the Clerical or Liberal party 
I cannot now guess. Max. will stand as long as Napoleon sends 
him troops and fools lend him money ; when these resources fail, 
he goes down. It is not yet time for you to go to Mexico to help 
the Republic." 

William Cullen Bryant wrote : — " I see by the Tribune 
that you are going to Mexico to help the Republicans. While I 
cannot but applaud your motives, I fear your life will be sacri- 
ficed in tlie unequal struggle. The pride of Napoleon is at stake, 
and the wretched demoralized Mexicans Jre no match for the 
legions of France. I hope you will not place^your life in jeopardy 
for such a worthless race as the modern Mexicans appear to be." 

In tlie meantime Mr. Seward, the U. S. Secretary 
of State, liad informed the French Goverinnent that 
the invasion of Mexico, and the establishing of a 
government tliere inimical to the Republic, could 
not be viewed with friendly feelings Ijy the U. S. 
The French army returned to France, and in a few 
months the Empire of Mexico collapsed, its Emperor, 
])Oor Max. the tool of Napoleon, was executed, and 
Juarez l)ecame President of the Republic of Mexico. 


Like President Lincoln, Benito Juarez was the 
leader of his people in the hour of their greatest 

156 Memoirs of a Reforwer. 

stress and, like him, died in the Presidential office. 
In many ways this Indian of Oajaca merits all the 
floral, oratorical, and other tributes which have 
just been again, in annual commemoration, bestowed 
at his tomb. Whether as Governor of his native 
State, exile under Santa Anna's dictatorship, Minis- 
ter under Alvarez, President of the Supreme Court, 
the relentless opponent of Miramon and the Cleri- 
cal Party, or as the unfaltering head of the republic 
against French domination and Maximilian, Juarez 
was always of, and for, and with the people. Marks 
of his handiwork and that of his party are seen in 
the famous Constitution of 1857, under which it 
was possible to destroy the class legislation that 
had prevailed in the interest of the ecclesiastical 
and military parties, and to give greater freedom 
of speeds and of the press, and greater political 
equal it}^ 


Wlien the dreadful war was over, and the hglit 
for the Union ended by the downfall of the Confed- 
eracy and the emancipation of tlie slaves, I made my 
liome in Toronto, and began a hibor wliich I had 
often contemplated witli pleasurable feelings and 
])n)niis('(l myself, wlien my labor as an abolitionist 
w as completed. 

I havt; mentioned in the first pages of these me- 
nioi)-.s that in my boyhood I was extremel}^ fond of 

Memoirs of a Reformer, 157 

iiMtural history studies, and imbibed a desire to per- 
form a labor for my own country, whicli had never 
before been attempted. This labor was tlie collec- 
tion and classification of the Flora and Fauna of 
Canada. For several years I pursued this labor 
with all my energy, and witli what success I leave 
to others moi'e competent to judge, who make the 
testimcmial record of my natural histoiy lal)()rs. 
(See Appendix). 



Reminiscences : — .Second Visit to Washington — Andrew John- 
son in the Senate — Inauguration of President Lincohi — The 
President's Prospects — Of Abraham uincoln, Horace Oreeley, 
Lucretia Mott, the Poet Longfellow, William Lloyd (Harrison, 
Wendell Phillips, Joshua R. (biddings, William Lyon Mac- 
kenzie, Rali)h Waldo Emerson, R. T. Trail, J. Emery Co- 
derre, Senator Ben. Wade, Gen. (raribaldi, (nen. Houston, 
(len. Walker — Inter-State Slave Trade — Republican Refugees 
in New York — Gerrit Smith. 


I WAS in Washington durino- the first week in 
March, 1861, and occupied a seat in tlie Reporters' 
(jrallery of the Senate during the exciting debate 
whicli took place on the nigiit of the 3rd of Marcli. 
A resolution which had previously passed by a two- 
thirds vote was the subject of debate. Tlie resolu- 
tion read as follows : — 

** That no amendment shall be made to the Constitution 
which will authorize or give Congress power to abolish or inter- 
fere within any State with the domestic institutions thereof, 
including that of persons held to labor or servitude by the laws 
of said State.'" 

It was ({uite evident that the Senate was not dis- 
posed to adopt the Crittenden resolutions or any 


Memoirs of a Reforwer. 159 

other denying the right of secession. It was obvi- 
ous from the speeches I heard that the utmost that 
could be extorted from the Senators was the passage 
of the above resolution, and even that appeared 
doubtful. Very few Senators were willing to place 
themselves on record as affirming the right of Con- 
gress to interfere with slavery in the States, but 
tliree-fourths of them were anxious to see it de- 
feated, — the Republicans, because it looked like 
compromise ; the Democrats, because it had a ten- 
dency to strengthen the Union sentiment in the 
democratic States. 

The first thing that struck me, as I took my seat 
in the Reporters' Gallery, from which I had an 
excellent view of all the Senators, was the great 
change in the personnel of the Senate since I first 
visited it, in 1850-51. On looking down upon the 
group I observed several that occupied seats there 
twelve years before, but the " giants " were gone — 
Webster, Clay, Calhoun and Benton were no more, 
and their places were occupied by a very dififerent 
type of men. The men from the North I could 
easily perceive to be men of much power, stern and 
inflexible in principle, — there was Sumner, Seward, 
Chase, Fessenden, brave " Old Ben Wade," Trum- 
bull and Chandler, the acknowledged leaders of the 
Republican party. The men from the Slave States 
were arrogant and domineering, as of old, — there 
sat Mason, of Virginia, one of the most insolent 

KiO Memoirs of a Reformer. 

and overbearinor men that slavery produced : Wig- 
fall, of Texas, a brilliant speaker ; Jefferson Davis, 
Clingman, of North Carolina ; Yancy, of Florida : 
John C. Breakenridge, and other men of minor im- 
portance and ability. Then there was a third or 
intervening party, whose mission appeared to be to 
compromise between the extremes. The head of 
this party was Stephen Arnold Douglass, the so- 
called Little Giant of Illinois. He was a man of 
marked ability, a strong and forcible speaker, 
patient, firm, and untiring. Senators Crittenden, 
Doolittle, and Andrew Johnson acted with, rather 
than followed, Douglass. 

The debate on the Revolution waxed hot and 
furious, all the prominent men taking part in the 
discussion. The Republican Senators, led by Sum- 
ner, and the Secessionists, led by Mason, sought to 
defeat a vote by pi-oposing amendments, and con- 
sumed time by debates and discussions. 

The compromise party, led by Douglass, opposed 
their tactics and sought to bring on a vote. All 
night. (March 8 and 4), and until six in the morn- 
ing, the battle raged. Such a scene I shall probably 
never witness again. Finally, at 6 a.m., March 4tli 
(just six hours before the inauguration of Abraham 
Lincoln), the resolution passed by 24 to 12, the 
necessary two-thirds vote. All these compromises 
and efforts to adjust the slavery question paved the 
way for the slaveholders' rebellion, the emancipation 
of thtt slaves, and the regeneration of tlie nation. 


Memoirs of a Reformer. 161 


It was during this visit to Washington that I 
first heard Andrew Johnson speak. Mr. Johnson 
was a self-made man, a natural orator and as cour- 
ageous a man as ever lived. One of the Southern 
Senators, during a debate on a Homestead Bill, had 
the bad taste to twit Johnson of his early trade — 
that of a tailor. Mr. Johnson's reply was one of the 
most thrilling bursts of eloquence I ever listened to. 

He said : " When, after years of painful struggles 
to earn a livelihood at my humble trade, with the 
young wife I had brought from my native place in 
North Carolina, and the little family which had 
grown up around us, I was enabled to purchase a 
small plot of ground in Tennessee and build a cabin 
upon it which I could call my own, I remember the 
feeling of triumph and exultation with which we 
looked upon the poor little shed, and knew that at 
last w^e had A HOME of our oWiV. And then, long 
years ago, I made up my mind that, if ever I had 
the power, every poor man, struggling as I was, 
should be enabled to obtain a home— should have 
one spot of earth, however small, one cabin, how- 
ever rude and scanty, which, in the light of heaven 
and the face of man, he should I e able to call his 

An ominous rustle in the galleries followed this 

162 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

outburst, but subsided on a growl from Senator 
Mason. Senator Johnson continued inflicting a 
severe rebuke on the insolent object of his invective, 
and finally closing with a magnificent eulogium on 
the Union. On this, the pent-up feelings of the 
spectators could no longer be restrained. A tre- 
mendous cheer arose. Senator Mason instantly 
moved that the galleries be cleared. A few hisses 
were heard — then a stentorian voice shouted, 
" Three cheers for the Union ! " They were 
given with a will. Not only did the men cheer and 
shout, but the ladies screamed and waved their 
handkerchiefs. Never since the first meeting of the 
Senate, did that body endure such an insult. For 
some minutes the din was overpoAvering. 

" The sergeant-at-ai-ms will clear the galleries ! " 
commanded Senator Mason, fiercely. 

It was easier said than done. There were at least 
five hundred excited men in the galleries. For 
some moments it was a question whether the 
Senate would qlear the galleries, or the galleries the 
Senate. But finally the galleries were cleared and 
the doors locked. 


The inauguration of President Lincoln took place 
on March 4. Tliis was the proudest day of my life, 
for on this day I witnessed the inauguration of an 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 163 

honest man, a sincere Republican, a lover of free- 
dom and a lover of his country. Through the kind- 
ness of Mr. Sumner I obtained a good point of 
elevation, from which I witnessed the interesting 
and on this occasion important ceremony. 

Most of the leading Secessionists had left for the 
South, to begin their work of destruction — supplied 
with means, stolen froui the general Government, by 
the secretaries and officials^of the Buchanan admin- 


The prospect before Mr. Lincoln was anything 
but encouraging. The Slave States were in open 
rebellion, and the leading democrats of the Northern 
States were in open sympathy with the Southern 
rebels, The small regular army of the United 
States had been dispersed to far distant territories, 
and the ships of the navy were sent to European 
waters ; the arsenals in the North were empty, and 
traitors held positions in every department of the 
Government. It was under these circumstances that 
President Lincoln entered upon that mighty conflict 
between freedom and slavery, between justice and 
crime, which resulted in the triumph of liberty and 
the overthrow of human slavery in the United 

164 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Within a few weeks after the inauouration of 


Mr. Lincoln, I was introduced to him by Charles 
Sumner, and the opinion I formed of Mr. Lincoln at 
that interview, ripened into conviction as I became 
1 )etter acquainted with him, for I met him on several 
occasions during- tlie war, under varied circumstances, 
and as I had no personal favors to ask of him, I was 
in a position to study him from a favorable stand- 
point. Personally and politically a more honest, 
generous, straiohtforward man never lived : and as 
the great and terrible war raged and progressed he 
grew in strength and wisdom and noble purpose, 
until he at last signed the emancipation proclam- 
ation, an act of justice which should have been per- 
formed three years earlier. But, if he was slow, he 
acted honestly, according to his best judgment. He 
was very cautious, slow in making up his mind, but 
reliaV^le and firm when his decision was made. He 
was a good judge of men, rarely mistaken in his 
estimate : being of a kind, geneious natiu'e, he was 
often led to grant favors to undeserving men. Li 
personal appearance, Mr. Lincoln was about six feet 
two inches in height, tall, thin, lugged. angular and 
awkward: liis stej) unmeasuivd an<l uiiprecise : his 
feet and hands large, strong and bony : his face, long, 
tliin an<l rugged : liis limd. huge. an<l bioad between 

Memoirs of a Reforwev. 165 

the temples; his eyes, bhieish gray — beamed witli 
kindness and wisdom: liis language, well chosen 
and forcible, and always accompanied by appro- 
priate gesture. 


I was in New York shortly after the presidential 
contest of 1872, and called upon Mr. Greeley. 
Clasping my hand in his, he said, pathetically, " I 
am glad to see you, my dear friend, for the end is 
near ; I cannot stand this strain uiuch longei", it is 
killing me by inches." I was shocked and pained 
by his appearance, all the old-time cheerfulness was 
gone, his countenance liaggard and distressed, his 
eye had a hopeless and sad look. " P'or twenty 
days," he said, " I have not slept ; I shall never sleep 
again, I pray for death." He trembled like a leaf : 
his beautiful hands were pressed against his dome- 
like brow, as if he were suffering intense pain. His 
skin had a pale, sickly appearance. I <lid all I could 
to cheer him up, but his destiny was on him : he 
could talk of nothing else but death, which he said 
he longed for and prayed for. His pitiful condition 
reminded me of his great grief years before, when 
in speaking of the death of his little son Pickie, he 
said to me (in substance): "If I felt sure that I 
should know and be with Pickie in the other world, 
I would prefer to die now, for life cannot efface the 
sorrow I feel." I never shall forget the scene, the 

166 Me'tnoirs of <i Reformer. 

most distressing I ever witnessed. A great miiid 
wrecked and stranded. When I bade him good- 
bye, he said, " My good friend, I shall never see you 
again in this world : the end is near." From that 
horrible scene I retired as if stunned by the ap- 
proach of some terrible calamit}^ In less than 
three weeks from that day he died. He was a 
precious man. When in good health his face was 
shining and soul-lighted ; beaming with kindness 
and goodwill. Intellectually, he was a giant, a king 
above princes : his brain was fine, large, and tire- 
less. He loved and was loved by the common 
people : he was their friend and counsellor. He 
was one of the ablest minds, one of the purest 
characters, one of the hardest workers, and the 
most widely useful man of his generation. Of 
Horace Greeley it may be said, " The common people 
heard him gladly." 


From New York I journeyed to Washington, and 
there met many old friends and acquaintances of 
by -gone years. One of my first visits was to the 
beautiful home of Charles Sumner — there I found 
him, among his books, pictures and lofty thoughts, 
much changed in appearance since I first saw him. 
He was older, gi-ander, more stately and gracious. 
His noble countenance was marked and scarred by 
many conflicts with the slave power. His voice 

Memioirs of a Reformer. 167 

had the same grand tone as of old, l)ut softened 
somewhat b}^ time. His hair was well mixed with 
grey, and his face bore the impression of internal 
pain and suffering. He told me that at times he suf- 
fered the most acute agony in the region of his 
heart. He had many sorrows that the world knew 
nothing of, and his heart was heavy with the fierce 
strife of a generation. 

Mr. Sumner was a man of rare and extensive 
culture and accomplishments, but, better than all, 
he was an honorable man, a man of noble impulses 
and lofty aims. He was an honest, consistent and 
virtuous statesman, and one of the main pillars and 
support of the Republic during the slaveholders' 
rebellion. Mr. Lincoln honored, loved and trusted 
him implicitly. The last days of Mr. Sumner were 
embittered by many troubles. His own beloved 
State had judged him unkindly, and, as he felt, un- 
justly, while the conduct of President Grant to- 
ward him was not only cruel but base. I spent 
several hours in his company on this occasion, talk- 
ing over the great struggle for freedom and the 
future of the Republic, and when I left he accom- 
panied me to my hotel and bid me farewell. 


On my return homeward from Washington, I 
stopped for a day in Philadelphia, to visit my dear 
friend, the sweet Lucretia Mott. Wending my way 

168 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

through the quiet city, I went to " Roadside," the 
serene home of this gifted and pure woman. She 
received me, as always, with a loving smile and sin- 
cerely kind welcome. She was nearly eighty years 
old, but her face still bore the charm of delicate and 
regular features. She was dressed, as usual, in a 
simple dove-colored Quaker dress, with a pure 
white muslin handkerchief crossed at the neck. On 
her head was a pretty little Quaker cap. She led 
me to a seat in the plain but extremely neat little 
sitting-room, and expressed her pleasure at meet- 
ing me again. During this visit, which lasted for 
two hours, she never ceased her knitting, except 
for a moment, at times when deeply interested. Her 
intellect was clear and her memory so retentive 
that she recalled many incidents that occurred sixty 
years before, and seemed never at a loss for a name 
or date. She still retained her brilliancy of niind 
and sympathy of nature as of old. If ever any 
woman inherited the earth, it was this blessed 
Quaker woman. Blessed, indeed, for the example 
of her industrious life, for the influence of her 
gentle teachings, for the honor that she conferred 
upon all womanhood. No misrepresentation or 
abuse, for she had both, ever deterred her from 
doing her duty. Her pure, sweet life made Lucretia 
Mott queen of the realm of humanity. 

Mrs. Mott was small and slight of stature ; her 
forehead broad and high ; her eyes, dark blue, 
beamed with kindness and goodness ; her hands 

Memoirs of a Refov^mer. 169 

small, delicate, and finely shaped. Her home was 
the abode of peace and harmom^ Mrs. Mott lived 
to be 87 years old, retaining all her faculties to the 
last. She died as she had lived — in peace. 


From my early manhood I had V)een a diligent 
reader and warm admirer of Ralph Waldo Emer- 
son. I had also corresponded with him for several 
years, but had never met him or seen him. I had 
received frequent and pressing invitations to visit 
him, but could not find time ; finally there came a 
letter so urgent and pressing that I decided to 
gratify my long-felt desire to meet this god-like 



" My Dear Dr. Ross,—* * * I hope you will make your first 
visit to Massachusetts and Concord, the rather that my family 
and friends are finding that I am losing my mother tongue and 
have to look to them for words. Perhaps that is the reason I 
have not written to the dear little Garibaldi. Let me have good 
news of you soon, and bring them yourself. Please let your visit 
cover the last Saturday of the month, so that I may make you 
acquainted with some very good people in our Saturday Club, 
which dines on the last Saturday of every month. With best 
hope and aifectionate regards." 

170 Me^moirs of a Reformer. 


A few days after the receipt of the above letter, 
I left Canada for Concord. On my arrival there I 
found Mr. Emerson at the depot, waiting to receive 
me. I recognized him at once from a photograph I 
had seen, but no picture can give tlie impression of 
his personal presence. He came toward me with 
his hand extended, saying, "You are Dr. Ross." 
The expression of his countenance was so pure and 
sincere, his manner so gentle and magnetic, his 
every act so cordial, that I was charmed with my 
reception. There was no vigorous or impulsive 
hand-shaking, but the serene light of cordiality 
that emanated from his features as he gave me his 
greeting, and held my hand in a w^arm and steady 
clasp, was impressive and made me feel at home 
with him at once. 

He was tall, slender, and somewhat bent with 
years, his hair grey and thin, his nose long and 
prominent, his mouth was somewhat large, his lips 
closed with a firm, interested smile, his eyes were 
blue, straiglitforward and honest, and seemed to 
look at you from out another world : his ears were 
large and impressed me as being his only connection 
with tlie world of sensation. He Vv^alked with his 
head bent sliglitl}^ forward, and appeared to me to 
be unconscious of wliat was passing around him. 

Memioirs of a Rcforiner. 171 

He partook of food in a methodical manner, as if in 
philosophic obedience to the need of eating. His 
features were sharply cut and very intellectual ; his 
voice had a strange power which affected me more 
thati any other voice I had ever heard — it was a 
purely intellectual voice, the music of spiritual ut- 
terance ; it was a clear, keen, penetrating, sweet 
voice, a fit medium for the utterances of his com- 
manding mind. At times it had an impersonal 
character, as though a spirit was speaking through 

My visit was on Friday, and the evening was 
spent in his library, where we (or rather he, for I 
was a willing and charmed listener) talked until 
midnight, when I was shown to my bedroom, the 
same, I understood, as occupied by John Brown, 
Mrs.Stowe, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Thoreau, and man}^ 
other kindred spirits. On the morrow (Saturday) 
we dined at the Saturday Club, where I met Mr. 
Longfellow, whom I had known previously, and who 
said : " Do not fail to call upon me before you re- 
turn home." I was introduced to many excellent 
persons whose names I now forget. I was treated 
with marked kindness and consideration by all, and 
at the table was seated with Mr. Emerson on my 
right and Mr. Longfellow on my left. 

In my cherished interviews with Mr. Emerson, I 
was made to realize the superiority of the spiritual 
over the physical part of man. It was only by 

172 MemnvvR of a Reformed. 

personal intercourse with him that the smgulai* 
force, sweetness, elevation, originaHty, and compre- 
hensiveness of his nature could be appreciated. 

I parted from him with feelings of sincere regret, 
but while I live T shall never lose the spiritual 
peace that emanated from the ])resence of this god- 
like man. 


His health had been breaking down for a year or 
more past, while his consciousness that his memory 
was gfivino; wav, led him to seek seclusion. The 
funeral of liis old friend Lonc^fellow, however, called 
hin) to Cambridge, and despite the inclemency of 
the day, he followed the procession to Mount Au- 
1)urn, and stood at the verge of the grave. His 
feel)leness attracted attention and aroused fears 
that it could not be long before his last day must 
also come. It has come, and the scholarship of the 
world mourns the death of Ralph Waldo Emerson. 
Emerson was the supi*eme representation of the 
highest type of manhood. Simplicity and purity 
were the bases of his character and thought, his 
temperance was like his religion, unconscious of 
itself — natural. He was a white soul — the purest 
and sweetest of our time. 


From Concord I went to Cambridge to visit Mr. 
Longfellow. I was shown into his library, a line 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 173 

large room, the floor of which was covered with a 
rich Persian carpet, and the walls panelled with 
dark oak. At one end of the room stood lofty 
oaken book-cases, framed in drapery of crimson 
cloth. Easy chairs were scattered about, giving the 
I'oom an air of comfort. In the centre of the room 
was a large table littered with books, pamphlets, and 
papers. I had time to make the above observations 
when Mr. Longfellow entered and greeted me warm- 
ly. He was a very different personage from Mr. 
Emerson. He impressed me as a cultivated English 
gentleman of fortune and ease. His dress was very 
becoming. His hair was fine, and as white as snow. 
His skin had the peculiar pallor that comes of old 
age. He was active in his movements and very 
talkative, making many encjuirles about C^anada. 
Mr. Longfellow had a tine head, the forehead Avas 
broad, indicating intellectual power. His eyes were 
V)eautiful, large and lustrous, from which the fire of 
youth seemed not to have fled. He spoke in terms 
of love of Emerson, saying : " he (Emerson) is a full 
soul." Of Charles Sumner he also spoke with I'e- 
verent feeling, and showed me a fine bust of him. 
When I rose to take leave, he said, " I must show 
you the great tree," and, while he stood underneath 
its giant arms, admiring the majestic elms of which 
he was so })roud, he gave me a brief history of the 
old mansion which he occupied, which was once the 
headquarters of General Washington during the 
revolutionary war. 

174 Memoirs of a Reformer. 


From Cambridge I went to Amesbury, the home 
of dear Whittier, and was delighted to find him in 
excellent health, and the same warm-hearted, sincere 
shy man as of old. He said he wrote but little now, 
as he felt the weight of his years. He seemed 
pleased to converse upon the Anti-slavery contest 
and the exciting incidents of that period. In speak- 
ing of John Brown, he said, " I regret that I never 
saw^ him. In my little trifle, ' John Brown of Osa- 
watomie,' I allude to his act of kissing a negro child, 
which I am told is apocryphal, a poetical license." 
In speaking of Emerson, he said, " Of all Americans, 
living or dead, he is t?te only one that will be rem- 
embered one thousand years hence. Emerson will 
take rank with Plato and Socrates." Of Lucretia 
Mott and Mr. Garrison he spoke in terms of loving 
kindness, adding, "Thee should not return home 
without seeing Mr. Garrison, he often speaks of thee 
and thy labors in words of praise." 


Bidding the good Quaker farewell, I returned to 
Boston, and called upon Mr. Garrison, whom I found 
in poor health, but mentally he was as active and 
industrious as ever. He was a remarkable man, the 
most determined, brave, persistent enemy that ever 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 175 

assaulted the institution of slavery He did not 
possess a particle of the spirit of compromise. He 
never for one hour relaxed his warfare, until his 
object was accomplished, and slavery abolished. In 
speaking of the great event, he said, " neither you 
nor I, nor any other abolitionist expected to live to 
see this unparalleled transformation — the entire four 
millions of slaves set free from their bonds and 
raised to the rights of American citizenship." 

While in Boston I had the good fortune to meet 
Lydia Maria Child ; she was very old and feeble, but 
cheerful and happy. Her life and labors were draw- 
ing to a close, but her mind was active with the 
stirring events of by-gone years, on which she loved 
to dwell, recalling many interesting occurrences of 
an ti -slavery days. 


My good friend Wendell Phillips was absent from 
the State at the time, which was a matter of deep 
regret to me, as I longed once more to meet this 
fearless and eloquent advocate of freedom. 

With Mr. Phillips I had been on terms of warm 
personal friendsliip since 1856, and had always 
found him a never-failing tower of strength, cour- 
age and inspiration He was a faithful friend and 
wise counsellor ; a natural orator, agitator and re- 
former; an honest, fearless and uncompromising 

176 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

opponent ot" tyranny and injustice, whereever it 

" He had his faults, they said, but they were faults 
Of head and not of heart — his sharp assaults, 
Flung seeming heedless from his quivering bow, 
And heedless striking either friend or for, 
Were launched with ej^es that saw not foe or friend, 
But only, shining far, some goal or end, 

'* That, compassed once, should bring God's saving grace 
To purge and purify the human race. 
The measure that he meted out he took, 
And blow for blow received without a look, 
Without a sign of conscious hurt or hate, 
To stir the tranquil calmness of his State. 

" Born on the heights and in the purple bred, 
He chose to walk the lonely ways instead, - 
That he might lift the wretched and defend 
The rights of those who languished for a friend. 
So, many years he spent in listening 
To these sad cries of wrong and suffering. 


" It was not strange, perhaps, he thought the right 
Could never live upon the easeful height, 
Nor strange, indeed, that slow suspicion grew 
Against the class whose tyrannies he knew. 
But, bitter and unsparing as his speech, 
He meant alone the evil deed to reacli. 

" No hate of persons winged his fiery sliaft, 
He had no hatred but for cruel craft 
And selfish measurements, where human Might 
Bore down upon the immemorial Right. 
Ev'n while he dealt his bitterest blows at power, 
No' bitterness that higli heart could devour. " 

Memoirs of a Refornicr. 177 


Dr. Trail was one of the most gifted men in Ame- 
lica. He was quite a young man when I formed 
liis acquaintance. I was attracted to him by his 
earnest appeals for medical reform. 'I'o him we are 
indebted — more than to an}^ othei- man — for our 
})resent knowledge of hydropathy and hygienic 
therapeutics. He was an able and effective writer 
in the cause of medical reform. Many of his works 
on liydi'opathyand hygiene have become class-books, 
and surpass all others in clear, precise, and faithful 
delineaticm of hygeo- therapeutics. He founded and 
organize<l the first hygeio-theraj^eutic college in the 
world, ol" which lie remained the active head until his 
death. His students and graduates have gone forth 
as ministering angels to afflicted humanity. The pre- 
sent successful College of Hygienic Physicians and 
Surgeons of St. Louis is i\w product of his teach- 
ings and labors. 


My staunch and most faithful supporter and 
friend, during my warfare against compulsory vac- 
cination in Montreal (in 1885), was Dr. J. Emery 
Coderre, Professor of the Medical Faculty of Vic- 
toria University, and physician to the Hotel Dieu. 
Dr. Coderre was a veteran in the cause of human 

178 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

freedom. In 1837, he labored with persistent fidel- 
ity under Papineau and Dr. Wolf red Nelson, against 
the tyrannical government of that day. He was ar- 
rested and imprisoned on a charge of high treason. 
Dr. Coderre possessed a most kind and gentle dis- 
position, but where the rights and liberties of man 
were concerned, he was as uncompromising and de- 
termined as man could be. He joined me at a time 
when every man's hand in Lower Canada was against 
me, when the medical profession and the clergy were 
engaged in circulating the most outrageous slanders 
and lies against me ; when the press, without excep- 
tion, joined the doctors in pouring out vials of abuse 
and hate upon me. This required a high order of 
courage, backed by pure moral principles — 'qualities 
Dr. Coderre possessed in a high degree. He was a 
tower of strength to me in a trying time. A nobler 
or braver man than Dr. J. Emery Coderre never 
lived ; he endured persecution, injustice, ostracism, 
poverty, and want, and died facing his enemies. 


My acquaintance with Benjamin F. Wade dated 
from 1850-51. I first met him at the house of 
Doctor Baily (called " Coventry " by the democrats 
and slaveholders, because it was the resort of ultra 
whigs, abolitionists and others opposed to slavery). 

There have been few distinguished men wdio, in 
all their ways, and through all their career, have 

Memoirs of a Beformer. 179 

been more thoroughly American than Senator Wade. 
His sense of justice naturally made him an anti- 
slavery man. He was always faithful to his liberal 
principles. He was uncompromising in his opposi- 
tion to slaver}^ He could not be intimidated or 
cajoled. The slaveholders in Congress, who were 
accustomed to brow beat and threaten Northern 
members of weaker material, found Senator Wade 
as firm as a rock, and as brave as a lion. Had it 
not been for the treachery of a Kansas Senator, 
Andrew Johnson would have been deposed, and 
Senator Wade would have succeederl him as Presi- 
dent of the U. S. 


The failure of their schemes had driven these 
ardent republicans to take refuge in America, where 
many of them were suffering extreme poverty. 

General Garibaldi, late General-in-Chief of the 
armies of the Roman Republic, was earning his 
bread by daily labor ; Gen. Avezzani, late Roman 
Minister of War, was engaged in the cigar business ; 
while a Prussian colonel was selling beer by the 
glass ; a member of the French Chamber of De- 
puties was a cigar vendor ; and a French general of 
cavalry was trying to sell walking sticks opposite 
the Astor House, 

Every Sunday night, these refugees from tyranny 
met together in a little restaurant, near the Battery, 

180 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

kept by a late official of the Roman Government. 
On some evenings there were as many as thirty 
exiles of different nationalities present, but usually 
not more than twelve or fifteen : General Garibaldi 
was the central figure of the group^ — great deference 
and respect was always shown him. The principle 
theme of conversation was the political condition of 
Europe. At these meetings I frequently met Felix 
Pyatt, Hugh Forbes, Louis Blanc, Gen. Drouet, ex- 
officer of the Imperial Guard of Napoleon, and many 
others of less prominence whose names I forget — 
among them French Repul)licans, English Chartists, 
Italian Carbonari and (jerman Connnunists. Nearly 
all of these men were occupied in daily labor of 
some kind, trying to support their unhappy lives. 
Their peculiar dress, manner, language, spii'it and 
enthusiasm was interesting to me, while their his- 
toiy, sufferings and loneliness enlisted my wai-mest 
sympathy for these brave men, who had endured 
so much suffering and sacrifice in the cause of free- 
dom. It was very gratifying to me, that I was pri- 
vileged to enjoy their society, and to listen to their 
conversations. On several occasions very exciting 
scenes occurred. These men were well aware that 
their steps were dogged by spies in the pay of 
European governments, and strict precaution was 
observed to prevent the intrusion of these servants 
of despotism. On one occasion, a great uproar was 
created by the discovery that a stranger was in the 

Memoirs of a Reformer, 181 

room, who could not give a satisfactory account of 
himself. He was finally released, upon the assur- 
ance of Col. Forbes that he was all right. But the 
experience of subsequent years has satisfied me 
that Col. Forbes himself was a traitor, and the 
means of causing the im])risonment and death of 
several of these i-efupees. Jt was he who betrayed 
the confidence of John Brown to the U. S. Govern- 
ment and obliged Capt. Brown to hasten his assault 
on Harpei-s Ferry before he was (piite ready. 


1 first met ( Jaiibaldi at tlie house of a mutual 
friend on Staten Island, New York. He had but 
recently arrived in America, from Italy. A few 
months before I met him he w^as dictator of Rome, 
with an army of 20,000 men under his conmiand, 
now, a refugee without sufficient means to supply 
the necessaries of life. The tyrant of France 
"Napoleon the Little," had crushed the hojH'S of 
republican Italy under the feet of the Fi"ench army, 
and Caribaldi, finding no safety in Furope, had 
taken refuse in the United States, until another 
turn in the wheel of revolution should recall him 
to his beloved Italy. From early manhood 1 had 
])een an enthusiastic admirer of this heroic soldier 
of freedom, and my personal intercourse with him 
<luring several months increased my admiration and 
filled me with profound respect and love for this 

182 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

great man, who, after many years military command 
in South America and Italy, battling for freedom, 
could la}^ down his sword and engage in the most 
humble occupation to provide for his simple wants, 
in preference to dependence upon his friends, who 
would have esteemed it a favor to have placed their 
fortunes at his disposal. General Garibaldi was at 
this time about forty-three years of age, of med- 
ium height, large head and noble brow, his eyes 
blueish gray, with a keen, intelligent and kindly 
expression ; his hair dark brown, whiskers inclined 
to reddish, feet and hands small and well formed, 
chest and shoulders broad, indicating great strength. 
He was cool, (|uiet and self-possessed in his manner, 
his voice low and musicaj in tone, his language con- 
cise and to the point. He spoke the French, Spanish 
and Italian languages with ease, and English indif- 
ferently. He wore dark trousers, and a red flannel 
shirt, and over this, when the w^eather required ad- 
ditional covering, a heavy grayish white cloak 
lined with red flannel. During the general's resi- 
dence in America I spent many happy days in his 
company, chjirined by his simple, unaflected manner 
and kindly disposition, as much as by his heroic 
services in behalf of freedom. He finally grew 
restless and dissatisfied with tlie narrow life he was 
leading, and engaged as captain of the Italian ship 
" Immaculate Conception." Before leaving, he 
changed the name to the "Commonwealth," and 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 183 

sailed for South American and Chinese ports. He 
afterwards make several trips to New York, Phila- 
delphia, Baltimore and Boston. On the occasion of 
his visit to Boston in 1853, as captain of a ship, I 
again met him. He had not changed much in ap- 
pearance, except that his face and hands were 
bronzed by exposure. He was the same mild, quiet 
man, his voice as sweet and musical as when I first 
knew him in 1851. During his short stay in Bos- 
ton, I saw him frequently and listened to his modest 
recital of incidents personal to his wonderful career. 
When 1 clasped his hand for the last time, as he was 
about sailing for Italy, he said : — " Dear Ross, if you 
are ever blessed with a son, do me the favor of giv- 
ing him my name, and may it be a good augury for 
him." And when in the course of time his wish 
was complied with, he sent my little boy the follow- 
ing letter : — 

Caprera, October 20th, 1873. 

To my precious godson Garibaldi Boss : 

My Dearest : — I think of you constantly and hope you will 
grow up a brave and good man. Remember that time is money, 
and to waste it is a crime. Embrace with ardor and steadfast- 
ness sound and liberal principles. * * * * 

I send you an aflfectionate embrace, and a father's wish for 
your future happiness. 

Yours devotedly for life, 


184 Memoirs of a Be former. 

On each succeeding birthday the general sent af- 
fectionate words of congratulation and kind wishes 
for his godson. In 1874, an Italian friend wrote me 
that Garibaldi was extrenieh- poor, in fact, often 
without the necessaries of life. I at once wrote to 
the general, asking him to accept some assistance 
form me. He replied as follows : 

Caprera, Ist September, 1874. 
My Dear Ross : — - 

* * * I accept with gratitude your generous offer. I 
beg you to send me a draft on a European banker. * * * 
A kiss for your little son. 

I am for life your devoted 

In acknowledging the receipt of my draft, he 
added, " A thousand thanks, my dear Ross, foi- this 
grateful token of your continued friendship." 

In view of the ingratitude and neglect which the 
Italian Ministry had displayed toward this illustri- 
ous man, who made It^ly free, and gave a kingdom 
to Victor Emmanuel, I deemed it my duty to make 
public the general's condition, which I did in a letter 
published in the New York Tribune of October 
3rd, 1874, The letter was cabled to Rome, and ap- 
peared next day in all the leading newspapers of 
Italy, to the utter confusion of the Italian Ministr^^ 
Contributions for the general, from sympathizing 
friends in all countries, were sent to him. The par- 
liament of Italy voted him a pension of l!^2{),000 a 
year for life, and the people of Rome elected him a 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 185 

member of the first parliament of united Italy that 
sat in Rome. His heroic and persistent struggles to 
free his beloved Italy from the yoke of the foi'eigner 
have been crowned with success, and to-day the 
name of Garibaldi stands before an admiring world 
without a spot to dim the purity of his fame. From 
Italy to Montevideo, from Montevideo to Rome, 
from Rome to Sicily and Naples, and from the dic- 
tatorship of Naples to his humble home in C'aprera, 
and from there to the parliament of United Italy, 
in victor}^ and defeat. Garibaldi always displayed 
the soul of the hero and patriot, never thinking of 
himself, but always of the oppressed and down- 

The mere narrative of Gai'il)aldi's life reads like 
a mediceval legend, or a tale of heroic times. He is 
at once the Achilles and Ulysses of the Italian 
national epic. Long before his name was heard of 
in Europe, his exploits both by sea and land liad 
made it a word of power in the new^ \\ orld. Hav- 
ing become involved in revolutionary intrigues, he 
quitted Europe, in 1836, for South America, only 
to return after twelve years' exile, the story of 
which, with its stirring adventures, both of war and 
peace, is as wonderful as any subsequent portion of 
his extraordinary career in Europe. He experien- 
ced many vicissitudes during his exile in South 
America. At one time commander-in-chief of an 
army, then a guerilla chief, then captain of a u ai- 

186 Meniioirs of a Reformer. 

vessel, then a prisoner, then a private soldier, a 
dealer in cigars and jewellery, a school teacher, a 
peddler, a teacher of French, then again a comman- 
der of an army ; such are a few of the changes in 
his wonderful career. 


Garibaldi was born at Nice of humble parents, on 
the 4th of July, 1807. At an early age he embraced 
his ancestral calling of a sailor, and was for 
several years engaged in the coasting trade in vari- 
ous parts of the Mediterranean. At the age of 
twenty-four he became acquainted with Mazzini, 
with whom he was concerned in a successful con- 
spiracy against Charles Albert, the king of Sar- 
dinia. Compelled to leave his country, he eventu- 
ally made his way to South America, and soon 
after his arrival in that country engaged in the 
privateer service of the revolted republic of Rio 
Grande against Brazil, and experienced the various 
vicissitudes of victory, defeat, imprisonment, ship- 
wreck, and escape in the revolutionary war. Amidst 
his dangers by land and sea, he found comfort in 
his marriage with a Brazilian lad}^ named Anita, to 
whom he was devotedly attached, and who full}^ re- 
turned his affection. In battle, whether by sea or 
land, Anita was at his side, aiding with sword and 
gun, and dauntless courage, her lion-like husband. 
In peace or war, in good or ill fortune, she was al- 

Memoirs of a Reforrr^&r. 187 

ways hie truest and best friend. During the siege 
of Rome, the fighting was continuous night and 
day, she never left Garibaldi's side, and when the 
fortunes of war compelled him to withdraw from 
the city, disband his army, and become a fugitive 
in the marshes, she never left him, until overcome 
with fatigue and exhaustion, she laid down and 
died. She was a heroic wife of a heroic man. 

In 1847, hearing of the elevation of Pius IX. to 
the Papacy, and persuaded of his liberal tendencies, 
Garibaldi offered him his services, but they were 
not accepted. He then offered his sword to Charles 
Albert, then in the field against Austria, and upon 
being repulsed by that monarch he repaired to 
Milan, where he was commissioned by the provin- 
cial Government to organize Lombard volunteers 
for the wdr for freedom. After the fiight of the 
Pope, Garibaldi visited Rome, where he found the 
people rejoicing over the proclamations of a repub- 
lic, under which he was elected to the Constituent 
Assembly. He received orders to watch with his 
troops the movements of the King of Naples, but 
was called from this duty in order to resist the 
French army, which was then proceeding to invest 
tlie Roman territory. A severe battle took place 
on the 30th of April, in which Garibaldi, after a 
hard struggle against superior discipline and num- 
bers, drove the French soldiers from the field. This 
victory was followed up by another over the 
Neapolitan army on the 9th of May. Rome, how- 

188 Memoir.^ of a Reformer. 

ever, after a terrible struggle, which raged without 
intermission from the 28rd to the 28th of June, fell 
into tlie hands of tlie French, and on the 2nd of 
July, Garibaldi, with 5,0()() of his volunteers, took 
his departure, to carry on the war against the Aus- 
trians and the King of Naples. But misfortunes 
overpowered him. Many of his soldiers surrender- 
ed to the enemy, and his faithful Anita, who had 
shared all his dangers, yielded up her life a victim 
to anxiety and fatigue. 

Then came the episode of his life in' America, on 
Staten Island, and then a brief return to his old 
business as a trader in Southern and Cliinese seas. 
Having amassed a little capital, he purchased half 
of the small island of Caprera, off the coast of Sar- 
dinia, where he settled down as an agriculturist, de- 
termined to await events. r 

The opportunity canu^, in 1859, when he was sum- 
moned l)y \'ictoj" Kiiniuinuel to Turin, to concert the 
plan whicli lie was to ]>lay against the Austrians 
then threatening Sardinia. He received a connnis- 
sion as Lieutcnant-Oeni'ral. and found himself at the 
head of a clioice band of )J,000 volunteers, with which 
he left Turin, on the 2()th of May, and carried on a 
guerilla warfare, which greatly harassed the Aus- 
trians. His followers soon increased to 17,000 men. 
He took Varese, Camerlats, and Como, and was suc- 
cessful at Bei'ii'amo, Bi-escia. and Bez/ato. 

After the hasty treaty of \'illafi'anca, which ]jut 
an (^,nd to the war, leaving X'enice in tl\e hands of 

Memoirs of a Reformier. 189 

the Austrians, Garibaldi retired from his command, 
and resigned his rank in tlie Italian army, in order 
tliat he might l)e free to engage in liis long-meditat- 
ed expedition for tlie liberation of tlie two Sicilies 
from the misrule of Francis II. 

When all was ready, he ei)d>arke(l from Genoa for 
Sicily, on the 5th May, ](S(^0, and landed on the 
10th, at Marsala, where he proclaimed himself Dic- 
tator of Sicily, in tlie'naiiie of Victor Emmanuel, 
and proceeded to take Palermo and Messina. He 
then crossed the straits, landed in Calaltria, and 
possessed himself of Naples, which he entered on the 
9th September. There he proclaimed Victor Em- 
manuel King, amidst general enthusiasm and j*ejoic- 
ing. The Neapolitan army was defeated on the 
1st of October; on the 21st, the people of Naples 
voted in favor of annexation to the Sardinian 
States ; on the 7th of November, V^ictor Emmanuel 
entered Naples, and on the 27th, the army of Cirari- 
baldi was disbanded. 

Garibaldi now retired to Caprera, where he ma- 
tured his plans for the ill-advised and unsuccessful 
expedition against Rome, in which Victor Ennnanuel 
was obliged to take part against him. In 1<S64, he 
paid a short visit to England, where he was received 
with great enthusiasm, and again retired to Ca[)rera. 
He took an energetic part in the campaign of 18(J6, 
which gave Venice to Italy, but still restless under 
the exclusion of Rome from the kingdom, he began 
an agitation, in 1867, for the annexation of the 

190 Memoirs of a Reforwier. 

Papal States. This brought him again into col- 
lision with the Italian government, and he suffered 
arrest and imprisonment. He succeeded, however, 
in escaping, and entered the Pontifical States at the 
head of a small force. After a few unimportant 
successes, he was defeated by the combined French 
and Papal forces at Mentana, on the 4th of Novem- 
ber. On the evening of the same day he was ar- 
rested, and conducted to the fortress of Varigano, 
near Spezia. Owing to a severe illness, it was 
deemed expedient to transport him to Caprera. 
With the exception of the brief service in France 
during the Franco-German war, Garibaldi's military 
career was now ended. He lived to see the desire 
of his heart fulfilled, in the restoration of Rome as 
the Capital of United Italy, and although he would 
have preferred a republic, he gave a loyal support 
to monarchy, as offering the only practicable solu- 
tion of the great problem of Italian freedom and 

Garibaldi's last letter to the author : 

Cafrera. July 29th, 1880. 
My Dearest Ross ;— 

Give a kiss for Manlio and me to my precious godson, Gari- 
baldi (my son), and a loving salutation to all your family. 

Yours for life, 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 191 


Garibaldi died at Caprera, on the evening of June 
2nd, 1882. The window of the apartment in which 
he lay was open, and just before he died a little 
bird alighted on the window sill where it remained 
twittering. Garibaldi saw it and exclaimed, " How 
joyful it is." These were his last words. The fune- 
ral of Garibaldi at Caprera was not less romantic 
than his chequered life. Never was hero buried 
under such novel circumstances. Practical difficul- 
ties, combined with the expression of Italian opinion 
to prevent his body being burned as provided by 
the General's will. Amid a furious storm, the re- 
mains of the dead Liberator, borne by survivors of 
the Thousand of Marsala, were consigned to a tem- 
porary tomb beside the remains of his children, 
Rosa and Anita. He wanted to be burned as Pom- 
pey was, so he put the matter into his will to give 
his purpose sacredness. " Having by testament de- 
termined the burning of my body," he wrote, " I 
charge my wife with the execution of this will, be- 
fore giving notice to anyone whomsoever of my 
death." He had even collected and cut up into con- 
venient size a quantity of spicy woods, to be used 
for his funeral pyre. This was poetic, but of no 
avail, as the following letter from his widow ex- 
plains : — 

192 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Saracchi, Piedmont, 
July 12th, 1882. 
My Dear Dr. Ross. 

The cruel misfortune which has deprived me of a most loving 
husband and my children of a kind and affectionate father, has 
crushed me to despair. I cannot help thinking that he might 
have been spared to us if he had been on the mainland where he 
could have had medical skill. In his will he expressed a desire 
that his remains should be burned ; dear soul, so much was he 
desirous of it that he charged me, in his last testament, not to 
let anyone know of his death until after his body was consumed. 
His wishes were overruled, and his remains now lie near his 
children, Rosa and Anita. My dear husband often spoke to me 
of your long friendship for him, and charged Manlio (his young- 
est son) and me never to forget your faithfulness during many 
years. My daughters and Manlio join me in tender regard to 
you and your little Garibaldi and all your family. * * * 
Affectionately and devotedly, 

Francesco Garibaj.di. 

No name in the history of modern Italy shines 
witli a more brilliant or purer light. The sturdy 
old patriot was a hero of a noble type. No one did 
more for the welfare of his country than he, an<l 
despite the criticisms called fourth by the apparent 
inconsistencies of his later life, the good he wrought 
was fairly appreciated. That is not the happy lot 
of some patriots. Garibaldi was earnest and sincere, 
thoroughly honest and unselfish, true in his friend- 
ships, and a good hater toward those who wronged 
him. In parliament he was silent and obscure ; his 
place was in the field leading a fight for liberty, 
(jraribaldi has been much condemned because he was 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 193 

content to accept finally a monarchy for his country, 
instead of a republic, but therein he showed more 
political wisdom than at any other time of his life. 
A republic then was impracticable. The acceptance 
of a pension by him from the *King cannot be con- 
sidered as a bribe, or as the wages of silence. His 
native land, and, above all, Victor Emanuel, owed 
him a comfortable old age. A confirmed invalid, it 
is a pleasure to know that the old hero was able to 
spend his last days in peace and quiet on his island, 
where he was most at home and happiest. Garibaldi 
loved Italy above all other earthly objects; but his 
great heart throbbed in sympathy with struggles 
for freedom in any part of the world. The patriot 
and hero died, beloved not only by the great mass 
of his own countrymen, but by lovers of freedom in 
all parts of the world. 

garibaldi's dream. 

" One day I fell asleep in my cabin on board the 
Carmen, and dreamt that I was in Nice, where all 
nature bore a lovely aspect. In my dream I saw 
a sad procession of women carrying a bier, and they 
advanced towards me. I felt a fatal presentiment, 
and struggled to approach the bier, but I could not 
move, I was under the influence of nightmare ; and 
when I began to move and felt beside me the cold 
form of a corpse, I recognized my mother's blessed 


194 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

face. The mournful howling of the wind and the 
groans of the ship aroused me. On that day, and 
at that hour, my precious mother died." 

The portrait of Garibaldi's mother always hung 
near his bed. It represented an old lady wrapped 
in a crimson shawl, and with a mild, sweet counten- 
ance. Garibaldi's veneration for his mother was 
intense. If he saw anyone looking at her picture 
tears would start to his eyes. He often expressed 
remorse at having by his adventurous life been a 
source of cruel anxiety to her. She was a woman 
of remarkable goodness and inexhaustible charity. 


One evening, while his vessel lay off the coast of 
Brazil, he saw a group of women and girls at work 
on the shore. At first their forms passed unnoticed 
before him, but by degrees, his eye, and perhaps 
his heart, fixed upon one, and he stopped to con- 
template her. She was a j^oung woman, in the 
bloom of health and strength. She was the ideal 
woman that Garibaldi was in search of. Before he 
had spoken to her, or heard her speak, he loved 
her. She, also, had remarked the leonine blonde 
head of the foreign sailor who watched her day 
after day, and had already given her heart to him. 
One evening Garibaldi resolved to delay no longer, 
and went to the girl's home. At the door lie met 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 195 

her father, v/ho invited him in to take a cup of 
coftee ; he would have entered without invitation. 
Without hesitation he said to the girl, " Maiden, 
will you be mine ? " to which she replied only by a 
look, which contained the promise of unutterable 
love ; a few evenings after, he returned and carried 
her off, and put her on board the safe refuge of his 
vessel and under the protection of his cannon and 
his sailors. He swore before Heaven to make her 
his wife, and they were married at Montivideo 
soon after. Her name was Anita Riberas ; her 
father had promised her to another, for whom she 
had no love. Her marriage to Garibaldi distressed 
her father very much, but Anita had not broke 
faith with her father's choice, as there was no en- 
gagement (or marriage, as has been frequently 
said). " If there was any wrong done, I only am 
to blame," Garibaldi said. 


Joshua E. Giddings was the " bravest of the 
brave " among old time abolitionists ; neither friends 
nor enemies could check his onslaught on slavery. 
He was the leader in the House of a little band of 
Free Soilers that formed the nucleus of the Repub- 
lican party of the future. 

Mr. Giddings encountered obloquy and social out- 
lawry at the Capital. His position was offensive, 

196 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

because it rebuked the ruling influence of the time. 
He was treated as a pestilent fanatic, because he 
upheld the ideal of the Republic, and sought to 
make it real. He found solace for his social ostra- 
cism in the company of a few friends, who had the 
courage of their opinions and who have lived to see 
their principles vindicated. 

Mr. Giddings served in Congress, in all, twenty- 
one years. From his first appearance in the H ouse 
he was distinguished for constant devotion to the 
principles of liberty. He was so unceasing in his 
opposition to slavery that he aroused the bitter 
hostility of the pro-slavery party. Indeed, so in- 
tensely was he feared and hated in the Slave States 
that a prominent newspaper of Richmond, Va., con- 
tained a conspicuous advertisement, offering ten 
thousand dollars to any one who would bring the 
person of Mr. Giddings alive to Richmond, or five 
thousand dollars for his head. On one occasion, 
while he was delivering a speech in the House that 
wounded the tender feelings of the slave-holders a 
southern member approached him witli a terrible- 
looking bowie- knife in his hand, and ordered Mr. 
Giddings to cease speaking or he " would cut his 
damned abolitionist heart out there and then." Mr. 
Giddings gave the cowardly assassin such a look of 
defiance and scorn that he turned and slunk back 
to his seat utterly discomfited. When I asked the 
old patriot how he felt when threatened with in- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 197 

stant death, he said, "I knew I was speaking for 
liberty, and I felt that if the assassin killed me, 
my speech would still go on and triumph." 

Mr. Giddings was conspicuous for the courage 
with which he attacked slavery, and in all discus- 
sions on this subject, he took the broad ground that 
slavery was a mere local institution, which the 
general government could not, and ought not, to 

He stood shoulder to shoulder with John Quinc}^ 
Adams, the old man eloquent, in resenting the tyran- 
nical demands of the slave-drivers. 

As a public man, Mr. Giddings was pure, honor- 
able, and conscientious. As a speaker, he was for- 
cible, pertinacious, and courageous. In all his acts 
he showed personal courage and a determination to 
maintain the right at all hazards ; and during the 
long struggle with slavery he never flagged in the 
fight, although he was ostracised by all men, except 
half-a-dozen, at the national capital, and denied the 
common civility and friendship of social life, but he 
fought on, and fought on, until in his last days he 
saw the triumph of the principles for which he had 
endured so much and labored so hard. 

In personal appearance (in 1850) Mr. Giddings 
was a magnificent rugged specimen of physical 
strength. He was fully six feet in height, power- 
fully and compactly built ; his head was large, and 
covered with dark brown hair, slightly mixed with 

198 Memoirs of a Reforiner. 

g;rey, and inclined to curl ; his countenance, when 
denouncing the wrongs of slavery or excited by tlie 
heat of discussion, was truly grand and lion-like, 
and pi-esented a picture of herculean strength, back- 
ed by moral power ; his eyes were blue, and ex- 
pressed kindness and honesty : his nose large and 
pugnacious ; his mouth and cliin indicated hrmness 
and tenacity. 

In the social circle he was a charming and enter- 
taining companion, his disposition most kind, gentle, 
and thouglitful. Mr. Giddings was one of the most 
welcome guests at the house of my good friend, Dr. 
Bailey. He was fond of active out-door sports, and 
exhilarating games. 

In 1861, President Lincoln appointed Mr. Gid- 
dings Consul-General to the Bi-itish North Ameri- 
can Provinces, with his official residence at Montreal. 

Here our acquaintance was resumed, and soon 
ripened into a warm friendship, which terminated 
only with his life. For several days before his death 
I was with him almost continuously, and, from his 
remarks as well as his manner, I am convinced he 
was impressed with the nearness of death. Three 
days before he died he handed me a package con- 
taining letters addressed to President Lincoln, Se- 
cretary Chase, and Elihu B. Washburn ; he request- 
ed me to deliver these letters after his death. Many 
other little incidents occurred during these last 
days of his life on earth which convinced me that 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 199 

lie was preparing for death. The many happy hours 
passed in the company of this noble old statesman 
will ever remain bright spots in my memory. His 
conversation during his last days evinced a spirit 
full of love and charity for all mankind, and especi- 
ally for those misguided men who were lighting to 
destroy republicanism on this continent, and to 
erect in its place a government with human slavery 
for its chief corner-stone. 

Few^ names will rank above that of Joshua R. 
Giddings, when tlie history of the long conflict with 
slavery is written down, and justice done to those 
who fought for the inalienable rights of man. He 
died suddenly, while amusing himself with a game 
of billiards. Only an hour prior to his death he 
said to me during a conversation on national affairs, 
" I have but one desire to live longer, and that is to 
witness the complete triumph of the cause to which 
I have given the energies of my life ; but I am 
ready whenever .the summons comes ; I have no fear 
of death, it is only a short journey, from this life 
to the next." 

" Giddings, far rougher names than thine have grown 

Smoother than honey on the lips of men ; 
And thou shalt aye be honorably known. 

As one who bravely used the tongue and pen 

As best befits a freeman." 

— Bryant. 

200 Memoirs of a Reformer, 

The following is Jefferson Davis' erroneous con- 
ception of Mr. Giddings' character : 

"I never saw a more remarkable man, nor one who was in- 
spired by a spirit of more concentrated bitterness. He was very 
old and infirm, but his hatred for the South and for slavery 
glowed like the hot fire of youth in his veins and seemed potent 
enough to vivify his exhausted frame. The hoarded hate of a 
lifetime gleamed in his sunken eyes, and gave ferocity to a voice 
that was like the growl of a tiger about to spring upon its prey. 
I used to watch him with a sort of fascinated interest which the 
display of strong and sustained passion is sure to create, and I 
remember how the alertness of his attitude and the suppressed 
passion of his face used to suggest to me the idea of some fierce 
creature crouching for a spring. To this day I believe it would 
have given him pleasure to behold the South desolated with sword 
and with famine and with pestilence, until neither man, woman, 
nor child remained. He had poured out so much tenderness 
upon the slaves, that there was not a drop of pity in his heart 
for even the innocent babes of the slaveholders." 

Jefferson Davis did not know Joshua R. Giddings, 
or he would never have uttered such a libel against 
one of tlie purest hearted and most affectionate men 
of this country. His love for children was a marked 
characteristic. He was a noble, good man. 


My acquaintance with Mr. Mackenzie was formed 
after he had returned to Canada from his exile in 
the United States. Long before I met him I had 
imbibed feelings of I'espect and admiration for his 
character as a man, a patriot, and a statesman. In 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 201 

personal appearance Mr. Mackenzie was small in 
stature, and active and energetic in his movements. 
His head was very large and massive ; his brow 
broad, high and projecting ; his head high from the 
ears to the crown, indicating firmness and self es- 
teem ; his jaw was broad, square and strong ; his 
nose large and inquisitive ; his eyes thoughtful, sad 
but keen : his language good and to the point : his 
face broad, with rather prominent cheek bones; his 
mouth strong and decisive. Like most radical re- 
formers, he was poor and remained poor all his life. 
Mr. Mackenzie was not a magnetic man, in the 
sense in which it is applied to politicians, but he 
was a very attractive man to those who admired 
mental and physical courage of the highest order. 
He dared to look the devil of tyranny, arrogance 
and selfishness square in the face and smite it. He, 
before and above all his adherents and followers, 
had the courage of his convictions. His love for his 
adopted country was sincere, and his motives un- 
selfish and patriotic. For loving liberty and justice 
more than selfishness and pelf, he was proclaimed 
on outlaw, a price placed upon his head ; he was 
hunted from place to place, as if he were a wild 
beast; he was persecuted, imprisoned and exiled, as 
if he were an enemy of mankind. But, the time 
is not far distant when the name of William Lyon 
Mackenzie will be hailed as that of " Canada's 
truest and best friend," and when that day comes, 

202 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

as come it will, the names of his maligiiers and per- 
secuters will be forgotten or unpleasantly remem- 
bered. Once, while sjDeaking of his career, he said, 
" Well may I love the poor, greatl}^ may I esteem 
the humble and lowly, for poverty and adversity, 
were my nurses, and in youth want and misery my 
familiar friends." It is sad to relate, but true, that 
poverty and adversity and want and misery re- 
mained his companions and accompanied him to his 


During my residence in Washington I became 
intimately acquainted with General Houston. His 
fondness for the society of young men, and the 
warm interest he evinced in their prosperity, to- 
gether with his fame as a soldier and statesman, 
made him an object of attraction to tlie young. 

His genial disposition, simple habits, and the halo 
of romance which surrounded him, made him one of 
the most distinguished personages in the Senate. 
He possessed a great fund of anecdotes connected 
with men he had met during his eventful career. 
He had known General Jackson, General Harrison, 
Colonel David Crockett, Colonel Bowie, the Indian 
Chiefs Red Jacket and Black Hawk, and many 
other men of prominence and celebrity of the early 
days of the Republic. He delighted to talk (to an 
interested listener) of the hardships and trials of 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 20.S 

his early life and manhood. His father died when 
he was a child of twelve, and the support of his 
mother devolved upon him. He accompanied his 
mother through a trackless forest from Virginia to 
Tennessee, where they made a home, and where 
young Houston won the respect of his neighbors 
by his honesty, industry, and pluck. When the 
Cherokee war broke out, he joined the regular army 
as a private. His conspicuous daring and courage 
attracted the attention of General Jackson, and he 
was made a lieutenant, and subsequently a captain 
of the regular army. When the war w^as over he 
returned to Tennessee, studied law, and was made a 
member of the bar. He became Attorney -General 
of the State, member of Congress, and Governor of 
Tennessee. In 1834, a rebellion broke out in Texas, 
having for its object the independence of that State. 
Houston raised a band of seven hundred volunteers 
and went to Texas to assist the people in their 
efforts to cast off the Mexican yoke. At San Jacinto 
he met the Mexican army of five thousand men, 
commanded by the President, Santa Anna, and 
several prominent generals skilled in the art of war. 
General Houston addressed his little band and gave 
them for a battle cry, " Remember the Alamo," (the 
place where Crockett, Bowie, and three hundred 
American volunteers had been surrounded and 
brutally butchered in cold blood by the Mexicans, 
only four weeks before.) The battle of San Jacinto 

204 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

was one of the most hotly contested battles that 
ever took place on this continent. Houston was 
victorious; two thousand prisoners were captured, 
including the President of Mexico and three gene 
rals. Fifteen hundred Mexicans were killed and 
many driven into the river, where they were drown- 
ed. Only a few hundred Mexicans escaped. The 
independence of Texas was recognized, and Houston 
became its first president. He was subsequently 
elected for two terms and finally brought about the 
annexation of Texas to the United States. He was 
elected United States Senator for Texas for several 
terms, and was Governor of Texas when the slave- 
holders' rebellion broke out. He remained true to 
his allegiance, and refusing to join the rebels he was 
deposed and Texas was forced into the Confede- 
racy. In personal appearance Gen. Houston was a 
man of marked physique. He was fully six feet six 
inches in height, straight as an arrow, of massive 
frame and gallant bearing. He had a large, long- 
head and face, and his fine features were lit up by 
keen, eagle-looking eyes. He was a man of strong- 
practical sense. A more honest statesman than 
Sam. Houston never sat in the Senate. He was a 
brave soldier, a kind father and husband, and a 
faithful friend. When Texas was coerced into the 
Confederacy he retired to his modest little home at 
Independence. The old hero was broken in health 
and spirit by tlie misfortunes of his state and coun- 

Memoirs of a Refonmer. 


try. His wounds, received in his many battles, 
broke out afresh, and in July, 1863, while the coun- 
try was in the throes of a war he had tried to pre- 
vent, he laid down and died broken-hearted. To 
the shame of Texas be it said, his body yet lies in 
an unmarked grave. 


Gerrit Smith was one of the purest and noblest 
men it has been my lot to meet. He possessed a 
noble, generous, chivalrous heart, lion-like port, and 
uncompromising conscience. His charities became 
almost as familiar to men's thoughts as the gifts of 
rain and sunshine. When the cry of distress was 
put forth, his ear was always one of the first to 
hear it, and his hand one of the first to succor. His 
most controlling passion was that for the abolition of 
slavery, which he rightly considered to embrace the 
deepest national honor, and the largest sum of 
human misery and degradation. He was an ever 
faithful friend to the cause of freedom, and bore his 
part of the burden with princely generosity. He 
was a large man, mentally and physically ; his 

206 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

mental impulse was great ; he was always alive and 
awake ; his wealth was his opportunity ; he spent 
nothing on pleasure, nothing on amusement, and 
but little on dress ; he bought no luxurious orna- 
ments or trinkets. His affections were ardent and 
constant. His cheerful sympathies imparted hearti- 
ness to his manner and mellowed the tone of his 
rich, full voice. He had great fondness for children ; 
he made the christian life his law — the Sermon on 
the Mount contained the sum of his philosphy, and 
the Golden Rule was his motto. He was a brave, 
beneficent man, who lived not for ease but for 


During one of my journeys through the Slave 
States I became acquainted with General William 
Walker, who claimed to be the legal president of 
Nicaragua. He was engaged in recruiting a force 
to regain his position from which he had been 
driven hy the forces of Costa Rica, in alliance with 
the old government of Nicaragua, and by the treach- 
ery of some of his own officers. His prospects were 
at a very low ebb at this time, as the United States 
government were closely watching his movements 
to prevent another expedition leaving for Nicaragua, 
he was obliged to observe great caution and pru- 
dence. I found him a very intelligent and agreeable 
companion, and became fond of his society. Nat- 

Memoirs of a Reforrner. 207 

urally he was taciturn and uncommunicative, but 
when his confidence was won he was fascinating 
and interesting. He had enlisted about three hun- 
dred men and was drilhng them into soldiers under 
experienced officers, among whom were Col. Rudler 
and General Henningsen. 

It was not until after a fortnight's acquaintance 
that I was allowed to accompany the General to 
his barracks — an old sugar house. The men met 
at eight p.m. every night and were drilled until ten, 
when they left in small parties. I could not refrain 
from laughing aloud when I first saw his army ; a 
more ragged or rough collection of cut-throats I 
never saw before, some were without boots, others 
without hats, and the majority looked capable of 
perpetrating any outrage, and yet these ragamuffins 
proved brave fighters, and defeated three times their 
number of regular soldiers, gaining many victories, 
and finally reconquering Nicaragua. General Walker 
was very desirous that I should accompany him in 
his next expedition, and gave me the position of 
surgeon. But the obstacles thrown in his way de- 
layed hi- expedition so long that I returned North 
and to other duties. 

Among the inducements held out to me to join 
his expedition was one that highly commended 
itself to my mind. His intention was to establish 
a thoroughly liberal system of public education for 
the people of Central America, for his ambition 

208 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

was not confined to Nicaragua, but included all the 
states of Central America. A few weeks after my 
return home I received the following from the 
General : 

"Dear Dr. Ross, — I had hoped that before this you had got 
over any disagreeable impression made by seeing bad news or 
abuse of your friends in the daily papers. Pray do not let them 
annoy you with their senseless despatches and foolish letters. 
The president (Buchanan) is bitterly hostile, but he will be forced 
to abandon what he ambititously calls his foreign policy. He 
knows as much of the people of Central America as he does 
of the Eskimaux, or, for fear he may know something of these 
last, I will add, of the inhabitants of the moon. Congress, how- 
ever, will drive him from the road he has marked out for him- 
self, and force him to pay more attention and respect to the 
constitution and laws, as well as the opinions of other people, 
than he seems disposed to do. * * * 

Very truly your friend, 


General Walker was in manj^ respects'a remark- 
able man, a physician and lawyer by education, and 
a liberator by choice and force of circumstances. 
He was five feet, six inches in height, slender and 
somewhat delicate in frame. His countenance 
when in repose, was marked by severe earnestness 
and stability. His head was large (twenty-four 
inches around), and presented the appearance of be- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 209 

ing flat on top. His forehead was high and broad • 
his eyes bhiish-grey, and remarkable for their bril- 
liancy and penetrating power ; his chin square and 
strong ; his lips were full ; his mouth (the only un- 
pleasant feature) not well-formed ; his hair thin, 
fine, light brown, and closely cut ; his nose, large 
and thin ; his face, beardless and long. His manner 
was self-possessed. I never saw him laugh, and 
seldom smile ; his usual appearance was that of a 
serious, thoughtful man. While talking, his head 
would incline toward the person addressed, and 
when he desired to persuade, he was really fascinat- 
ing, eloquent and effective. He was ascetic in his 
habits, and utterly indifferent of acquiring wealth. 
He possessed great physical courage and determina- 
tion, and had bravely faced death on twenty battle- 
fields. In disposition, he was modest, simple and 
retiring. From my personal knowledge of General 
Walker, I believe his motives were pure and good. 
He desired the welfare of Nicaragua, and if those 
who invited him to Nicaragua to defend her soil 
from invaders had proved true to him, his rule 
would have been a lasting benefit to that interest- 
ing country, and to the whole of Central America 
as well. General Walker, in his last general order ^ 
said, " From the future, if not from the present, we 
may expect just judgment. That which is ignor- 
antly called ' filibusterism ' is not the offspring of 
hasty passion, or ill-regulated desire ; it is the fruit 

210 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

of the sure, unerring instincts which act in accord- 
ance with tlie laws as old as the creation. They are 
but drivelers who speak of establishing fixed rela- 
tions between the pure white American race, as it 
exists in the United States, and the mixed Hispano- 
Indian race, as it exists in Mexico and Central 
America, without the employment of force. When- 
ever barbarism and civilization, or two distinct 
forms of civilization, meet face to face, the result 
must be war. Therefore the struggle between the 
old and the new elements of Nicaraguan society is 
not passing or accidental, but natural and inevi- 
table." In 1860 I met General Walker for the last 
time ; he was in Washington interviewing the 
Southern senators in reference to another expedi- 
tion to Nicaragua, and received so much encourage- 
ment in Washington that he embarked from Mobile 
with two hundred men on what proved his last ef- 
fort. Through some misunderstanding with his 
friends on the coast of Central America, he landed 
on the coast of British Honduras, and was forced to 
surrender to the captain of a British sloop-of-war, 
who perfidiously handed him over to his enemies, 
who brutally shot him in cold blood. Thus died 
one of the bravest and most unfortunate men that 
ever lived. In his death, Nicaragua lost her best 
friend. The seed sown by Walker will ultimately 
result in a rich harvest of blessings for Central 
America. The following are the closing words of 

Memoir f^ of a Reformer. 211 

his last letter to me, written on the day he left Mo- 
))ile, on his last expedition to Central America : — 

Dear Dr. Ross,— * * * * 

We may perish in the work we have undertaken, but if we fall, 
we feel it is in the path of honor. And what is life, and what is 
success in comparison with the consciousness of having perform- 
ed a duty? * * * 

Truly your friend, 

" Success had made him more than king ; 
Defeat made him the vilest thing, 
In name, contempt, or hate can bring ; 
So much the leaded dice of war 
Do make a man of character, 

" I simply say, he was my friend 

When strong of hand, and full of fame ; 
Dead and disgraced, I stand the same 
To him, and so shall to the end." 


The great rivers of the Southern States were the 
lines of transport over which the inter-state traffic 
in slaves was carried on. The boats on the Missis- 
sippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Black Warrior, 
Tombigbee, and Red River of the South, carried 
cargoes of cotton and slaves to New Orleans, the 

212 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

great slave market of the South ; and returning, 
carried slaves and merchants' supplies to the inter- 
ior states. Usually the slaves were chained toge- 
ther in coffles, or hampered by heavy chains on the 
ankles. The poor wretches were forced to appear 
satisfied with their condition in the presence of pas- 
sengers. At times, however, they would be over- 
come with sadness and depression. Then the snap 
of the driver's whip, and his conimand, " Be lively, 
boys, give us a song," would force them to sing, 
urged on by the snapping of his whip, and the 
stamping of his foot. The steamers going up the 
river'from New Orleans, usually carried as passen- 
gers, numbers of gamblers who victimised the plant- 
ers of the products of their sales. Gambling was 
openly practised on all the river boats in those days. 
Towards midnight the results of strong drink and 
losses at gambling would be manifested by fights 
and broils, in which the bowie knife and derringer 
would play an active and often fatal part. Some- 
times a plucky planter who had lost all his money 
would wager his slaves on the game, and when these 
were lost, would put up his watch as a last venture. 


On one of the streets running off Canal-street, in 
New Orleans, there stood, in 1857, a large two-storj^ 
flat building, surrounded by a stone wall, ten or 

Memoirs of a Reformer, 213 

twelve feet high. This building was one of the 
largest slave pens in the city. I have seen as many 
as three hundred slaves, men, women, and children, 
at one time in that vile place. In a small room off 
the hall could be seen at the time many curious in- 
struments of punishment and torture, " Wire whips," 
" toe and nail pincers," " iron collars with spikes 
so arranged as to prevent the wretched victims from 
resting their heads," iron branding irons," " chains 
for the neck and waist," and other horrid appliances 
of punishment and torture. Here in this building 
from morning till night came planters, traders, and 
lecherous speculators to buy, sell, or gratify their 
sensual curiosity. Here slave girls were stripped of 
their clothing, and subjected to the gaze and ob- 
scene examinations of vile men. Here families were 
separated, and the poor creatures classified into field 
hands, artisans, servants, and mistresses. No tie of 
blood or family relation was respected. I have 
seen little babes torn from their mothers' arms and 
sold for a few dollars, or exchanged for whiskey or 
groceries. In a special room of this building, slaves 
were received to be whipped by order of their mas- 
ter or mistress. On one occasion I saw a young 
girl sold at this house, who was probably not more 
than fifteen years old. She was quite w^hite, with 
blue eyes and long auburn tresses, and a very intel- 
ligent face. When placed on the block to be sold 
she was told to " look cheerful," but I never saw a 

214 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

more broken-hearted look on the face of a human 
being. The sale began by the auctioneer calling 
attention to the girl on the block hy saying, " Gen- 
tlemen, here is the finest girl I ever offered for sale 
in this city. She has good health and a mild tem- 
per, and has only just turned fifteen. How much 
am I offered ? ' Five hundred dollars ? ' only five 
hundred dollars for such a likely girl as this ? Why, 
gentlemen, look at her, look at the article you are 
bidding on. A real octoroon, fit for any gentleman 
in the South. She is virtuous and pure. 1:1 er late 
master tells me she is a Christian, and very obedient. 
How much for her ? ' Seven hundred,' ' eight hun- 
dred,' ' ten hundred ; ' keep on, gentlemen, she's 
worth a lot more than that. I tell you she is pure ; 
' twelve hundred,' ' fourteen hundred,' ' sixteen hun- 
dred.' " And for this sum of sixteen hundred dol- 
lars, she was sold to a dealer in human flesh, who 
took her to his sodomic house in that city as a 
source of income. O ! the cloud of these dark, devil- 
ish days comes over me at times like a nightmare, 
as I recall the scenes I witnessed in that foul land 
of horrors. 


Moral and Physical Reform — Anti-Vaccination Labors — Medical 
Reform — Medical Freedom — Food Reform — Drink Reform — 
Health Commandments — Beatitudes — What Whiskey Does — 
" What I have lived to see, and what I hope to live to see " — 
Thoughts on Man's Future — The Present Age — No Seed is 
Lost — Retrospect. 



Extract fi'orti the Official Report of the Medical 
Superintendent of the Toronto Lunatic Asylum. 

" Would that one-tenth of all the zeal and intel- 
ligence and stirring eloquence which has been ex- 
pended on other and not unimportant reforms, could 
be enlisted in the exposition and amelioration of 
this enshrouded pestilence ! But who will venture 
on such a work ? Whoever would most certainly 
and 'most largely benefit his fellow-beings in this 
Province, may ^nd his work in this sphere of moral 

Twenty-five years ago my attention was directed 
to the prevalence of a particularly sad type of in- 
sanity produced by sinful and unphysiological liabits 


216 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

secretly practised by the youth of Canada. A 
careful and earnest study of the tables of " Causes 
of Insanity and Imbecility " in the official reports 
of Medical Superintendents of Asylumns for the in- 
sane in Great Britain, Germany, France and Amer- 
ica, as well as my own observation and experience, 
forced me to the sorrowful conclusion that fully one- 
third of all the insane have brought this blighting 
curse upon themselves by indulgence in an unphy- 
siological habits practised in ignorance of the re- 

And, notwithstanding the alarming prevalence of 
this sin, and the shocking consequences that follow 
it, not a voice of alarm was raised in all the land to 
warn the poor victim of his fate. Not a word of 
warning from the pulpit of the preacher, the desk of 
the teacher, or the mouth of the physician. Here 
was a worm eating at the core of society, and doing 
more injury than all other diseases combined, yet 
there was no warning cry to or from the objects of 


I consulted wdth clergymen, professing christians 

of all denominations, and men of influence in differ- 
ent walks of life, but, while all agreed as to the ne- 
cessity of the work, not one was willing to identify 
himself publicly in this work of necessity and 
mercy. It is easy and pleasant to labor in popular 
works of charity, to win smiles of approval from 
the rich, the powerful and the fashionable, but to 

Me'inoirs of a Reformer. 217 

identify one's self publicly and earnestly in a work 
of reform that conflicts with the conventionalities 
of society is to commit social suicide. No matter 
how beneficent or merciful the work may be, no 
matter if the health, happiness and lives of thou- 
sand of our race are jeopardized, all must be sacri- 
ficed to the social Moloch of false delicacy and 
moral cowardice. I felt then, and feel qiow, that this 
work of moral and physical reform would enlist the 
active sympathy of Jesus, were He on earth to-day. 

The solemn question appealed to my conscience. 
Is it not a crime for you to withhold the knowledge 
you possess on this subject, is it not your duty to 
proclaim it broadcast throughout the land? Impress- 
ed me deeply, and I [resolved to do what I con- 
scientiously believed to be my duty, and from that 
hour to the present I have labored quietly and per- 
sistently through good and evil report in circulating 
information and advice to the youth of our land. 

The subject is a very delicate and difficult one to 
handle effectively. The press and pulpit, muzzled 
by false delicacy, and the medical profession, wrap- 
ped in false dignity and criminal indifference, dis- 
dainfully refuse to discuss the subject or acknow- 
ledge the right of an individual member to act ac- 
cording to the dictates of his own conscience. 

My experience has taught me that whoever loves 
TRUTH, and means conscientiously to pursue it, will 
find peace in his own bosom, but abundant storms, 
calumny and unkind treatment outside. 

218 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

But, I am persuaded, that time and the honest 
VERDICT of posterity will approve of every act of mine 
in the discharge of this unpleasant, but imperative 
DUTY. To be one with truth is a majority. 


Telling Unpopular Truth. 

Telling unpopular truth to the public is not pleasant, still un- 
popular truth should be told ; for good may follow, though one 
cannot tell how or when. It may be contradicted, or it may 
find here and there a disciple ; or the author of it may be reviled, 
persecuted, imprisoned, or held up to the scorn and ridicule of 
the public. In one or other of these ways attention may be 
drawn to the subject, and a spirit of enquiry excited which may 
result in the overthrow of the existing error. 

Filth and Disease. 

In March, 1885, my attention was called to a report that sev- 
eral cases of small-pox existed in the east end of Montreal. 
Knowing something of the filthy condition of certain localities, 
I made a careful sanitary survey of all that part of the city 
east of St. Lawrence Street, and south-west of McGill and St. 
Antoine Streets. Whac I saw I will attempt to describe — what 
I smelt cannot be described ! I found ten thousand seven hun- 
dred cess-pits reeking with rottenness and unmentionable filth — 
many of these pest-holes had not been emptied for years — the 
accumulated filth was left to poison the air of the city and 
make it the seed-bed for the germs of zymotic diseases. Further, 
I found the courts, alleys and lanes in as bad a condition as they 
possibly could be — decaying animal and vegetable matter 
abounded on all sides. Everywhere unsightly and offensive 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 219 

objects met the eye, and abominable smells proved the existence 
of disease-engendering matter, which supplied the very condi- 
tions necessary for the incubation, nourishment and growth of 

Knowing well the fearful consequences that would result from 
the presence of such a mass of filth in a densely populated part 
of the city, I gave the widest publicity to the subject, hoping 
thereby to rouse the municipal authorities to a proper apprecia- 
tion of the danger that menaced the health of the city. But I 
was called an alarmist ; my advice went unheeded, and the filth 
remained as a nest for the nourishment of small-pox, which grew 
in strength and virulence rapidly, until it swept into untimely 
graves, from the very localities I have mentioned, thirty-four 
hundred 2Jer,'ions ! — victims of municipal neglect. Instead of 
removing the filth and putting the city in a thoroughly clean 
defensive condition by the enforcement of wise sanitary regula- 
tions and the adoption of a rigid system of isolation of small-pox 
patients, the authorities were led by the medical profession to 
set up the Jetish of vaccination and proclaim its protective vir- 
tues tlirough the columns of an ignorant, tyrannical and time- 
serving press Day after day the glaring, snaring headlines of 
'•Vaccinate, vaccinate," "Alarm, alarm," appeared in morning 
and evening papers. A panic of cowardice and madness follow- 
ed, and tens of thousands of people were driven (like sheep to 
the shambles of the butcher) to the vaccinators, who reaped a 
rich but unrighteous harvest. 

The truth of my predictions was amply and sadly verified by 
the sickening and mournful fact that thirty-four hundred 
persons, mostly children under twelve years of age, died from 
small-pox in the very localities I pointed out as abounding in 
filth, while in the West End, west of Bleury and north of Dor- 
chester streets, where cleanliness prevailed, there were only a few 
cases, and these sporadic. I do not hesitate to declare it as my 
solemn opinion, founded upon experience acquired during the 
epidemic, that there would have been no small-pox epidemic in 
Montreal if the authorities had discarded vaccination, and 

220 Metnoirs of a Reformer. 

placed the city in a thoroughly clean and defensive condition 
when I called upon them to do their duty in April, 1885. 

Crusade Against Vaccination. 

During my crusade against vaccination in Montreal, I had to 
contend against a powerful and solidly-united medical profession, 
supported actively or passively by every clergyman and every 
newspaper in the country, aided by the auxiliaries of ignorance, 
bigotry, cowardice, prejudice and indifference of the people. 
The seed I have sown has already taken firm root. Thousands 
of intelligent people who never questioned the virtue of vaccina- 
tion before I began my warfare against it, are now opposed to it. 
Each of these converts will disseminate their views in the circle 
in which they move, and in a few years an intelligent public 
opinion will be arrayed against the absurd and filthy right of vac. 
cination, which will compel the profession to abandon it, as they 
have already abandoned other fallacies, such as bleeding, mercury 
and arm to arm innoculation. Medical fallacies die hard, and 
this fallacy of vaccination, being a munificent patron, will be no 
exception to the rule. When I began my crusade against vac- 
cination I expected obloquy, slander, lies and persecution. I 
expected the lineal descendants of Ananias, Sapphira and Judas 
would unite their efforts to crush me — I have not been dis- 
appointed. I have sacrificed money, peace and many friend- 
ships in this cause, and still I think the cause worthy the 


What I Taught the People. 

( 1 . ) That epidemic diseases are the creation of municipal and 
personal neglect of cleanliness. That any medical theory which 
sets aside the laws of health, and teaches that the spread of 
natural or artificial disease can be advantageous to the commun- 
ity, is misleading and opposed to science and common sense. 

(2.) That exemption from cholera, smallpox and other filth 
diseases is not to be found in vaccination, but in the enforcement 
and extension of M'ise sanitary regulations, such as better habi- 
tations for the people, perfect drainage, pure water in abund- 

Mewoirs of a Reformer. 221 

ance (and free to the poor), wholesome food, and inculcating 
amongst all classes of the community habits of personal and 
domestic cleanliness. 

(3.) That vaccination is bitterly 7iseless, and aflfords no protec- 
tion whatever from small-pox. For proof, I refered to the official 
reports of the Montreal small-pox hospitals, showing that hun- 
dreds of thoroughly vaccinated people were stricken with small- 
pox and that scores of them died, having on their bodies one, tioo, 
and in some cases three, vaccine marks. And further, the fact 
that the ravages of the epidemic were confined exclusively to 
that section of Montreal noted for uncleanliness and non-obser- 
vance of sanitary regulations. 

(4.) That vaccination (during an epidemic of small-pox) is an 
active and virulent factor in propagating small-pox by creating a 
susceptibility to the disease. 

(5.) That vaccination is not o\\\y useless, but absolutely dan- 
gerous, as it frequently causes troublesome swellings of the arms 
and glands, and filthy diseases of the skin, blood, hair and eyes. 

(6.) That compulsory vaccination is an outrage on the natural 

and inalienable rights of man, and should be resisted by physical 

force if peaceful means fail. The legislature has no more right 

to command vice and disease, than it has to forbid virtue and 


Why I Oppose Compulsory Vaccination. 

1 he theory of vaccination has its peculiarity, that the more 
firmly it is established the less justification does it afford for the 
plea that compulsion is essential to public safety. For the 
theory is that vaccination protects against small pox. Very 
well ; if that is so, then every man has the opportunity of pro- 
tecting himself and his children against the neglect of his neigh- 
bors. What justification has any one in that case for coercing 
his neighbors to adopt his belief ? If it is said that his neigh- 
bor's children may take the small-pox and thus endanger those 
who are already "protected" by vaccination, they surrender 
their claim that vaccination protects. Of two things, one: 
either it protects, in which case the vaccinated are not endan- 

222 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

gered by the un vaccinated ; or else vaccination does not protect, 
and in that case what right has anyone to compel another to run 
the risk of so dangerous and useless a rite. 

Resistance to Oppression. 

The right to resist injustice and oppression is inalienable, and 
its exercise in no way depends upon the nature of the authority 
wielded by the oppressor. A majority can be as tyrannical as an 
autocrat. Injustice does not become just or tolerant because it 
has been countersigned by a majority. No one has a right to 
oppress, that is, to treat unjustly ; no, not even if the oppres- 
sors have a majority of nine hundred and ninety-nine to one, 

/ stand for the right of every citizen, rich or poor, high or low^ 
black, brown or white, male or female — the i7i(R^'idual's right above 
all others to maintain the purity and integrity of his person as 
against all theory or practice of unsettled and unsought defilement, 
his right to resist, by all means- in hi<i power, the enforcement of 
vaccination on his own person or the bodies oj his children. 

Consequence of Telling Unpopular Truth. 

When I entered upon this anti-filth and anti-vaccination 
crusade, I knew that my convictions were exceedingly unpopu' 
lar, I knew they were perilous of utterance, that they were sure 
to be misconstrued. I knew that the members of the medical 
profession to a man would oppose me— not with reason, but with 
personal abuse, persecution and misrepresentation. I asked only 
that it may be allowed that I was sincere, but the medical pro- 
fession and its subsidized press declined to permit that. They 
declared that no intelligent physician, no honest man, could 
entertain the views I expressed against vaccination. I was ridi- 
culed, maligned and persecuted, made the victim of a conspiracy 
of medical and vaccination lies ; threatened with imprisonment 
and outrage, and publicly charged with being responsible for the 
death of those who died from small-pox. Such was the treat- 
ment I received for giving expression to my honest convictions 
on the subject of filth and vaccination. (See Appendix.) 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 223 


The medical practice of to-day is a reproach to our civilization 
and a disgrace to science. It is to-day what it has always been, 
a colossal system of humbug and self-deception, in obedience to 
which mines have been emptied of their cankering minerals, the 
intestines of animals taxed for their filth, and poison bags of 
reptiles drained of their venom, and all these — and many more 
abominations — have been thrust down the throats of credulous 
and long suffering human beings, who, from some fault of diet, 
organization or vital stimulation, have invited disease. In truth, 
the prevailing medical practice has no foundation in science, 
truth, philosophy or common sense. Multitudes of intelligent 
people in America and in Europe, express utter want of confid- 
ence in physicians and their methods. The cause is evident : 
erroneous theory, and, springing from it, erroneous, often — fatal 
practice ! 

Nearly all the medical literature of the world is a medley of 
inconsistencies, absurdities and incoherent ideas. Every day 
develops new views, teaching us that much of what we before 
thought immutable truths, are baseless theories. On these 
theories which have usurped the place of truth, a system of 
routine, or empirical, vacillating and uncertain practice, has 
grown up based on conjecture and improved by sad blunders, 
often hidden by death. 

Before the prevailing fallacious and destructive medical prac- 
tice can be abolished, and a system introduced at variance with 
established usuages, in direct antagonism with the general habits, 
customs, education and prejudices of the people; in utter con- 
tempt of the teachings and practices of the present predominant 
medical profession, it will be necessary to establish a medical 
doctrine founde 1 upon facts in harmony with and sustained by 
the unerring laws of nature, and of the vital organism. 

Unreasoning faith in physicians and their toxic and poisonous 
drugs — an heritage from a barbaric and ignorant age— is fast fad- 

224 Mew.oirs of a Reformer. 

ing away. A new era is dawning upon the medical world, based 
on a systematic study of natural agencies for the prevention of 
sickness and the restoration of health. The realm of the vis 
medicatrix nattirre is both broad and comprehensive, and every 
year's experience adds to the conviction, that the remedial forces 
of nature are the foundation and crown of all curative and re- 
storative processes. This new theory bids fair to emphasise an 
epoch in the history of medicine. 

Natural Medical Principles. 

1. That health-ease is the natural condition of man. It is 
the result of all functional action working in perfect harmony ; 
it is the natural condition of every living thing ; it is the natural 
result of conformity to the laws of nature. 

2. That dts-ease is not an entity ; it is not a thing to be 
cured, stamped out or extirpated , it is an effort of the system 
to purify itself ; it is remedial action, working to expel impuri- 
ties, poisons, and extraneous matters from the body ; it is ease- 
restoring, because it aims to reproduce the conditions of health. 
Physicians often speak of dift-ease when they mean, or should 
mean the action of the living system in getting rid of its impuri- 
ties and poisons. When we are sick there is a torpor of funct- 
ional action in the various organs of the body ; this means re- 
tained secretion : the system becomes clogged with its own im- 
purities. Then comes a rallying of the vital forces to throw 
out these impurities. How are we going to aid this remedial 
action ? By swallowing drug medicines ? By adding impuri- 
ties ? Certainly not ! Drugs of whatever kind, are antagon- 
istic to the vital organism, and therefore injurious to human life 
and health. We should aid the vital forces in this work of eli- 
mination by supplying right conditions. We should control, 
regulate, and direct the remedial action, until the system is 
purified and health is restored. To effect this object — the heal- 
ing of the sick — the self same agents are to be employed that ad- 
minister to health. When the body is disordered by sickness, its 
natural tendency is to right itself ; its most stable and comfort- 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 225 

able state, is a state of ease, and to that equilibrium it gravi-. 
tates naturally, when not hindered by meddlesome medicine. 

To further illustrate. A healthy person allows his system 
to become clogged and poisoned with impurities from unnatural 
food and drink, and the vital powers, make a strong effort to 
expel the accumulated filth through the pores of the skin. This 
is inflammatory or high fever. If the infected person were more 
feeble the remedial effort would be less vigorous toward the sur- 
face, or to a greater extent directed toward the other outlets, 
constituting the slow or nervous typhoid fecer. 

Again, if the system is very gross and full of putrescent mater- 
ials when the remedial effort occurs, the putrid form of typhus 
fever will be present. 

And as the impurities have accumulated in the system more 
rapidly or more slowly, will be manifested the different forms 
of fever as to periodicity. 

Hence the natural condition oj cure consists in modifying and 
regulating the remedial effort, by supplying favorable conditions. 
And thus, all the mysterious problems connected with the various 
forms and features of disease are easily understood. 

3. That all healing power is inherent in the living 
ORGANISM. That for violated physical law, nature has provided 


4. That the remedial forces of nature are the foundation 
and crown of all curative processes. That there is no " law of 
cure " in the universe ; and the only condition of cure is obedience 
to the laws of nature. 

5. That living matter acts on dead matter, and not dead 
on living. This may be illustrated by the so-called action of drug 
medicines, though an equally good illustration is found in the 
digestion of foods. If food is taken, the " action " from the time 
it enters the mouth till it is finally assimilated in the tissues, ia 
not on the part of the inert substance (food,) but on that of the 
living organism. The hand carries it to the mouth, where it is 
masticated, insalivated and swallowed ; and after it is received 
into the stomach, duodenum, and small intestines the gastric 


226 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

and other juices digest it ; then it is taken up by the absorbents, 
conveyed to the various tissues, and by them appropriated. This is 
NORMAL VITAL ACTION : the bread all this time, does nothing ; it 
is simply done unto, — or acted upon. But suppose something 
abnormal is taken ; for example a drug medicine. It be may by an 
emetic ; in this case the muscles of the stomach will contract and 
expel it. Or if a purgative has been administered, the bowels 
undertake the work of elimination ; if a diaphoretic, then the 
skin must throw it out, if a diuretic, the kidneys, if an expector- 
ant, the lungs ; if a cholagogue, the liver takes an abnormal 
activity ; and so on, to the end of the chapter. In every case it 
will be seen that the so-called action is always on the part of the 
living organism, and never on the part of the thing taken ; that 
as soon as a foreign substance is recognized by the vital instincts, 
REMEDIAL ACTION begins, and sooner or later, one or more of the 
excretory organs will (if possible) expel it. This is abnormal 


Natural Medical Practice. 

Nature's Prophylactics and Restoratives consist of food, 
water, air, rest, hope, peace, temperati're, exercise and 
other natural agencies. The right use of these agents will 
balance vital action, thus enabling the system to rid itself of 
poisons, execute repairs, and build itself up. By this system of 
healing the vital forces are neither weakened nor destroyed, 
and after the remedial process is ended, the different organs of 
the body resume their normal functions. This natural medical 
PRACTICE stands out boldly in the sunlight of truth ; it tolerates 
no warfare against the vital forces of nature ; it sees no philoso- 
phy in clogging up their beautiful machinery with posionoiis d7'V(/<i ; 
it acknowledges Nature as the best of all physicians. 

Prevention better than cure. — The work of the physician 
of the future, will not be merely to heal the sick and mitigate 
the penalties af violated law, but to banish sickness by teaching 
the people how to live better, purer and more natural lives, and 
thus ensure health, and promote happiness and long life. When 

Meinoirs of a Reformer. 227 

that time comes, as it certainly will in a few years, people will 
appreciate the advantage of employing a physician to preserve 
THEIR HEALTH. His duty will be to regularly inspect the sani- 
tary conditions of the house and its surroundings, and to act as 
health adviser in all matters of dietetics, hygiene, and habits of 
each member of the family. There are thousands carried to un- 
timely graves every year, who have been the direct cause of 
their own death (some from ignorance of the simple laws of 
health, and others from inattention to those laws), and there are 
millions who live weak and sickly lives, who might be strong and 
healthy if they had proper instruction in the laws of health. 

Humanity has a deep interest in this subject of medical 
REFORM. The people will gain immensely by its adoption ; both 
in health, happiness and prolonged life. 


A Paternal Government is an Infernal Government. 

If a man may not choose his bodily physician, why should he 
have the right to choose his spiritual physician ? Is his spiritual 
health of less importance than that of his body ? Why should 
the State be called upon to direct and control the individual in 
one case and not in the other ? The argument is, that the public 
must be protected against their own ignorance. If this is true 
of bodily health, why is it not true as to spiritual and other 
matters t The same principle if carried out, would set up a pater- 
nal government, including religion , etc . In other words, it would 
be the knell of individual liberty. 

The laws of Canada secure to our people the right to their re- 
spective religious opinions and practices, why should the people 
not have an equal right to their medical opinions and practices ? 
There is a boundary which no discreet legislature should over- 
step, lest they provoke the justifiable opposition of every inde- 
pendent and right thinking mind, and that this boundary has al- 

^28 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

ready been overstepped by medical legislation in Canada cannot 
be denied. For the State and its selected doctors have not, and 
never can have, any right to compel submission to a medical 
creed or dogma, any more than to a religious one, whatever may 
be the salvation which each may offer. 

Despotism of State Medicine. 

Under the treacherous guise of protecting the people, the legis- 
latures of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Xova Scotia, and 
Manitoba, have been hoodwinked by doctor craft, into enacting 
certain ujirighteous, selfish and despotic laws, wiiich absolutely 
deprive the people of one of their most precious natural rights — 
the right, in the hour of sickness, and in the presence of death to 
choose whatever method of healing they please. 

Life is precious, and the right to preserve it, the most sacred 
of the rights of man. No legislature has a rightful power to in- 
vade or trespass upon that right. But, that is just what our 
provincial legislatures have done in passing these infamously 
despotic " Medical Acts." The people never asked for protec- 
tion ; the people do not need it ; their own good common sense 
is their best protection. By enacting these tyrannical laws, a 
greedy and heartless *' Medical Combine" has been established, 
which outrages the most sacred rights of the people and enriches 
a monopolistic medical oligarchy. 

The only persons protected by these laws are the needy unem- 
ployed physicians who organized the "combine" and lobbied 
these infamous laws through the legislature. Under these des- 
potic laws, no one (not a member of the *' combine,") no matter 
how competent or skilful he or she may be in the art of healing 
the sick, dare exercise this humane and natural right — without 
pain of fine or imprisonment. Talk of Russian despotism I why, 
there is no tyranny in the empire of the Czar to equal this medi- 
cal tyranny in Canada I 

Medicine Not A Science. 

Medicine is not a science, but an aggregation of different theo- 
ries, which are being changed and modified. While surgery has 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 229 

made marked advances in recent years, therapeutics, or the ap- 
plication of remedies, is really in a more backward state, as far 
as any definite system is concerned, than it was two thousand 
years ago, when Hippocrates declared : Natura sanet, non medi- 
CMs-nature cures, not the physician. After two thousand years 
of experiments, there is not one single remedy which is recog- 
nized throughout the medical world as a certain cure for any 
single disease. Not only do schools of medicine differ, but the 
latter change their practice from time to time, as new remedies 
come into fashion. Describe your symptoms in identical words 
to a dozen doctors and you will get on an average at least nine 
different opinions and remedies. Is this science ? 

No systematic or theoretical classification of diseases or thera- 
peutic agents ever yet promulgated is true, or anything like 
truth, and none can be adopted as a safe guidance in practice. 
And yet it is this theoretical classification that has been impos- 
ed on our people by medical trickery, and legislative stupidity 
and cowardice. Every man must put his life, and the lives of 
his children, at the mercy of one of these untrue systems, or else 
go without medical assistance altogether. 

It is a fearful thing to think that this invasion of our dearest 
rights is the law of the land. Every legislator who voted for it 
struck a blow at one of the clearest rights of the individual— the 
right to protect his own life, and guard his own health in his 

own way. ., , • i i^-u 

la it just to the people to compel them to imperil their health 

and lives by employing physicians of such a dangerous and un- 

reliable system of healing as above described by the leading men 

of that system? 

A conclusive reason against protecting any form of medical 
practice is that the so-called science has no standard. It is all 
uncertainty , ever shifting or changing. To fix a legal boundary, 
marked by a sheet of paper called a diploma, to a business of 
this nature, can hardly be considered a sensible act. lb is only 
physicians of small calibre who have faith in the certainty of 
medical knowledge. The great men of the profession agree that 
it is all groping in the dark beyond certain contracted and com- 

230 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

monplace limits. Some of the greatest would practically agree 
with the witty Voltaire, when he says, '* the art of medicine con- 
sists in amusing the patient, while nature cures the disease. " 

In fact, there is no profession in which restraining laws are 
so out of place as in that of medicine. Shall the law restrain, 
by fines and imprisonment, the mother from seeking such means 
as she believes will cure her dying child, whether it be "faith 
cure," the '* laying on of hands," or a spoonful of mnllein or cat- 
nip tea ? I)o we, with all our knowledge, know that such means 
will not cure in a given case. Are all psychical and therapeuti- 
cal agencies so well understood that we can invariably say what 
will and what will not cure them ? Any law which thus inter' 
feres with individual freedom of thought and action is an out- 
rage on human rights, and subversive of personal liberty. 


Health is the natural condition of every living creature. All 
creatures living in their natural condition live out their natural 
term of life and die a natural death. 

Not one person in fifty thousand lives a natural life, or 
dies a natural death ! A very large proportion of the human 
race commit suicide with their teeth — they eat unnatural food 
and drink unnatural drink ; they live unnatural lives, generate 
unnatural offspring and die vinnatural deaths. 

To LIVE A NATURAL LIFE is to live closc to nature. To eat 
only man's natural food — the grains, roots, fruits and legumes. 
To drink only man's natural drink — pure water. To breathe 
pure air by day and by night. To ol)serve habits of personal 
cleanliness. To take sufficient bodily exercise to promote diges- 
tion and excretion, and to avoid worry and fret. 

He who LIVES SUCH A LIFE will cnjoy perfect health and a 
long and happy life. It is true many are handicappped by the 
inheritance of penalties for parental sins, but even such may at- 
tain a large measure of the blessings resulting from natural 

Memoirs of a Reformer, ^31 

More than one half of the sickness which embitters the 
middle and latter part of life is due to avoidable errors in diet. 
More actual sickness, impaired vigor and shortened life is caus- 
ed by erroneous habits of eating and drinking than all other 
causes combined. 

It is largely in our own power to induce or banish sickness, 
to live happily or miserably, to lengthen or shorten our lives ; 
and the food we eat is the principal factor in either case. As 
soon as we begin to live we begin to die, and would die if we 
were not sustained by nourishing food. Every thought, word, 
breath or action causes waste of part of the body and tends to 
its destruction. Hence we are continually wasting away, and 
consequently require to be renewed or rebuilt, or we would die. 
Now comes the important question — what food is best suited to 
repair the waste, nourish the body and promote health and long 

It is my fullest conviction that man's natural food consists 
only of the natural fruits of the earth — the grains, roots, fruits, 
legumes and water. It is useless to apply to medical authority 
concerning what you shall eat or drink, because each physician 
will order or forbid that which is the fashion to order or forbid. 
Each seeker after health, happiness and long life must of neces- 
sity be his own judge as to the quality and quantity of the food 
best suited to his particular case, but the source from which he 
selects mtist be the original and natural source — the vegetable 

The propagation of these ideas will no doubt for a time be 
ridiculed by the medical profession, and all who are engaged in 
making money by trafficking in animal flesh ior/ood, and tea, cof- 
fee and intoxicating liquors for drink. But vegetarianism in its 
whole nature is so simple, pure and true, that, in a not distant 
future, there will come a revolution in its favor, that will banish 
the flesh of animals as /ood, and the use of tea, coffee, intoxi- 
cants and all other substitutes for water as drink, from every 
refined and cultivated community. The time is coming when the 
eating of flesh and the drinking of unnatural liquids will be held 

232 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

as evidence of a gross, depraved nature. Then will come an era 
of purity, health, and cleanliness, in which the Goddess of 
Htealth will reign supreme over a healthy and happy people. 


Water: Man's Natural Drimk. 

Nature is always right, and natiire has provided no other 
drink than water, for mammals, birds or plants ; and no animal 
but man seeks any other. 

In the human body, as in external nature, the primary office of 
water is that of a solvent, and as such it is found in every tissue 
of the body, to a greater or less extent. The fluids of the body, 
on whose proper relation health so greatly depends, are simply 
watery solutions of various salts, in which float tlie corpuscles or 
particles peculiar to each one. Their physiological value is 
largely determined by their specific gravity, which depends to a 
great extent on the amount of water they contain. A deficiency 
of water in the system produces a nervous, irritable and tired 
feeling, with frontal headache, dry skin and brittle finger nails. 

The physiological, therapeutic and hygienic value of M^ater in 
the human system is in all cases in proportion to its purity. 
Water is the only drink provided by nature for man and other 
animals, and no animal but man uses any other. In all animals 
provided with a stomach for receiving food, water is the medium 
by which the materials of nutrition are conveyed to all parts of 
the body. Water is the medium by which the waste material 
of the water is carried away. Water quenches thirst naturally 
and effectually. Water is a kind of food, and will sustain life 
for many days in the absence of other food. Water flushes the 
system, cleansing and washing away impurities. Water im- 
proves every tissue, and dissolves and removes the products of 
tissue metamorphosis. Water keeps the skin active and healthj\ 
Water stimulates the kidneys to the removal of waste matter. 

Memoirs of a Refor7)%er. 233 

Water unloads the emunctories generally, and so leaves the 
cells in the best condition for functional activity, unclogged by 
surrounding debris. Water removes old worn out matter. 
Water paves the way for the reconstruction of new material. 
Water renews the system day by day, acting as a rejuvenant. 
Water is a natural tonic, increasing the vigor of body and mind. 
A pint of pure water drank an hour before breakfast, followed 
by brisk exercise, washes out the stomach, cleaning it from mu- 
cous which prevents the free secretion of gastric juice. It acts 
as a tonic to the gastric walls of the stomach and stimulates the 
action of the bowels. Water is a reliable purifier and cleans the 
bowels of waste matter. Water prevents the disintegration of 
the blood, protects the brain, and prevents the production of 
morbid matter. Water preserves the general health and strength 
of the body. Small pox and other contagious diseases are the 
product of filth. The free use of water, internally and externally, 
will prevent and limit the spread of filth diseases more effect- 
ually than any other means. If there is a universal remedy, 
whose effects are true, equal and harmless, that remedy is pure 
water. Considering that water taken into the stomach is 
quickly absorbed into the current of the blood and circulated 
through the body, its absolute purity is a matter of vital impor- 
tance. Thirst warns us that the blood is too thick, or that it 
contains some acrid matter that should be washed away with 
that natural solvent and purifier, pure water. The one element 
we require to dissolve our food and give fluidity to the blood is 
water. Water is the only natural drink — whatever is mixed with 
it is food, flavor or poison. Our natural body as a machine is 
perfect, and has within itself no marks by which we can possibly 
predicate its decay ; it is apparently calculated to go on forever, 
if supported by natural food and drink. 

Health Beatitudes. 

Blessed are you old men and women who from your youth 
have obeyed the laws of nature and lived natural lives ; your 
good example shall enrich and bless many generations that fol- 
low you. 

234 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

Blessed are you husbands and wives who received proper phy- 
siological instruction in your youth and maturity, and who have 
lived ill obedience to the laws of nature ; your children shall rise 
up in health and strength and call you blessed. 

Blessed are you children whose parents were wise in their day, 
and began your physical and moral training years before your 
bifth ; your days shall be many and happy in the land in which 
your parents have placed you. Every child has a primal right 
to be well bom, not handicapped, by the uncertainties of chance, 
or parental ignorance of the laws of reproduction. 

Blessed are you boys whose parents or instructors withheld not 
from you a knowledge of the dangers and disasters resulting from 
unphysiological habits in youth ; verily ! you have reason to re- 
joice and be glad. 

Blessed are you girls whose mothers forgot not to instruct you 
in knowledge essential to your health, beauty and purity ; both 
you and your children shall reap a rich reward in health and 
happiness, in consequence thereof. 

Blessed are the people who know the laws of health and faith- 
fully obey them ; health and prolonged life shall be their portion. 

Blessed are you who covet not your neighbor's riches ; riches 
are often a burden— sometimes a curse, and are quite unnecessary 
to the attainment and enjoyment of health, from which all other 
blessings flow. 

Blessed are the people whose laws restrict not, or conflict with 
tlie inalienable personal rights of man — to life, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness ; rejoice and be glad, for great are your 

Blessed are you young men who have learned to labor and 
wait ; one pound of pluck is worth a ton of iack. 

Blessed are you who are engaged in the noble work of lifting 
men up to a grander conception of this present life, its duties and 
responsibilities ; a generation ago it was a subject of constant 
solicitude how to save the soul ; to-day people take more interest 
in saving the body and improving the mental, moral and physical 
condition of man. 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 235 

Blessed are you physicians who have risen superior to your en- 
vironments and thrown aside the therapeutics of a dark and bar- 
barous age, and cast off the shackles of false dignity, the artifices 
of the pretender, and the humbug, deceit and fetishness of the 
charlatan ; verily ! the people shall greatly profit in health and 
pocket thereby. 

Blessed are the people who have learned to live upon man's 
natural food — the first fruits of the earth — and drink man's 
natural drink — water ; their lives shall be free from sickness, 
and their days prolonged upon the earth. 

Blessed are you young men and women who live in tliis pro- 
gressive age ; rejoice and be glad ! for great are your privileges ! 
mighty elements are in process of development, and great prob- 
lems in social and j^olitical economy and the arts and sciences are 
being worked out which will ultimately become accomplished 
facts and utilized for the benefit of mankind. 

Blessed are you young men who have not yielded to the bland- 
ishments of the evil woman nor the use of tobacco and strong 
drink ; rejoice and be glad, for great shall be your reward in 
purity, health and happiness. 

Blessed are you hygienists and sanitarians ; the practical utili- 
zation of hygienic and sanitary knowledge is not only purging 
the world of contagious and infectious diseases, but obliterating 
the evil effects of centuries of wrong living, wrong thinking and 
wrong doing. 

Health Commandments. 

I. Thou shalt not eat the flesh of any animal, for the flesh of 
animals is dead matter, containing the germs of disease, decay, 
corruption and death ; whoso eateth thereof shall suffer mental 
and physical impairment, and shall not live out all his days. 

II. Thou shalt eat only the first fruits of the earth ; the grains, 
nuts, pulses, fruits and roots ; all of which are living matter, 
containing the seeds or germs of vitality and renewed life ; and 
all of which are rich in nutriment and capable of sustaining life ; 
repairing waste, making pure blood, bone, tissue and nerve. 

HI. Thou shalt not drink anything but nature's drink— pure 

236 Memoirs oj a Reformer. 

water. Water is a kind of food ; it alone will sustain life for 
many days, it quenches thirst, flushes the system, removes the 
worn-out matter, bathes every tissue, keeps the skin active and 
healthy, and gives renewed life to the body. 

IV. Thou shalt not drink any of the pernicious substitutes for 
water — tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, or any spirituous, distilled 
or malt liquors, for all these artificial drinks injure the health, 
shorten life, and make invalids, criminals and paupers. 

V. Thou shalt not use tobacco in any form, for whoso useth 
thereof shall suffer mental and physical impairment, which may 
be transmitted from generation to generation. 

VI. Thou shalt not take into thy body any drug medicines 
composed of minerals or herbs or any other substance ; all drug 
medicines are unnatural, antagonistic to the human system, and 
destructive to health and life. All healing power is inherent in 
the living organism ; the remedial forces of nature are the foun- 
dation and crown of all curative processes. 

VII. Thou shalt not be vaccinated, nor permit thy children 
to be vaccinated. Vaccination does not protect against small- 
pox, and it frequently causes foul diseases of the blood and skin 
which may be transmitted to future generations — an ever abid- 
ing curse. 

VIII. Thou shalt safely protect thyself and thy children from 
all filth diseases if thou dost faithfully obey these command- 
ments and observe habits of personal and domestic cleanliness, 
and keep thy dwelling and its surroundings in a perfect sanitary 

IX. Thou shalt not make haste to be rich ; nor incur a debt ; 
nor covet thy neighbor's property, his social or political position; 
nor anything that is his. 

X. Thou shalt not live for thyself ; thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bor as thyself ; thou shalt do unto others as thou wouldst have 
others do unto thee. 

If thou dost faithfully observe these commandments thy life 
shall be healthy, happy and long in the land in which thy pro" 
gen i tors have placed thee. 

Memoirs of a Heformer. ^37 

What Whiskey Does. 

Whiskey enters the pulpit with the preacher, shuts his mouth 
to the truth, and makes him a coward. Whiskey stupifies the 
brain of the physician, and takes the life of his patient. Whis- 
key enters the church with its members, and closes their ears to 
the heart-broken appeals of wives, widows and orphans. Whis- 
key enters the halls of legislation, and makes the legislators 
cringing cow ards. Whiskey enters the sanctum of the editor, 
and makes him weak, cowardly and treacherous to the dearest 
interests of humanity. Whiskey mounts the bench with the 
judge, lowers his dignity, and extinguishes his sense of justice. 
Whiskey deadens the conscience of the lawyer, and makes him 
the thief of his clients' interests. Whiskey compels church 
members to vote licenses to men who make drunkards and 
criminals. Whiskey makes cowards and sneaks of our members 
of parliament. Whiskey rules the Church, the State and the 
People. Whiskey has its victims in every jail, poor-house, in- 
sane asylum and penitentiary. Whiskey enters the mouth, the 
stomach, the life of the parent, and poisons the blood of the un- 
born. W^hiskey drives its victims into dens of dissipation and 
prostitution. Whiskey debauches manhood and womanhood, and 
degrades and drags childhood from its throne of purity and inno- 
cence. Whiskey has at its command millions of dollars and ai mies 
of slaves. Whiskey enslaves our mayors, aldermen and oflBcials, 
and makes them cowardly and base. Whiskey makes men slug- 
gish, stupid, and indolent. Whiskey has twenty times more 
groggeries than religion has places of worship. Whiskey drives 
thousands into untimely graves, and other thousands into pov- 
erty and disgrace. Whiskey makes criminals, paupers and in- 
valids. Whiskey stamps the unborn child with idiocy, insanity 
and love of intoxicants. Whiskey darkens the mind, injures the 
nerves, and destroys the will of its victim. Whiskey is the fac- 
tor and ally of crime and debauchery. Whiskey destroys 
homes, breaks hearts, and blights the happiness of thousands. 
Whiskey is the direct cause of more poverty, misery and suffer- 

238 Memoirs of a Reformer. 

ing than all other causes combined. Whiskey is the greatest 
scourge that afflicts humanity, it fills the world with more 
wretchedness, misery and woe than war, pestilence or famine. 

A Few Words to those who Uphold the Traffic in Intox- 
icating Liquors. 

You PRAY " thy kingdom come," and then vote to grant licenses 
to men who prey upon the hearts and homes of mothers and 
children. You pray *' Thy will be done," and then ro^e to grant 
licenses to saloons and grog shops to graduate paupers and crim 
inals. You pray " Lead us not into temptation," and then vote 
to place the worst of temptations in the waj^ of others. You 
pray "Give us this day our daily bread," and then ro^e to legal- 
ize the sale of whiskey, which takes away bread from the mouths 
of mothers and children. You pray *' Deliver us from evil," and 
then ^-ote power to the liquor seller to place the worst of evils in 
the way of your neighbors. You bec for money to send mis- 
sionaries to foreign heathen, and then vote licenses to whiskey 
dealers to send your brothers, sisters, and neighbors down to 
perdition. You crant licenses to sell whiskey which makes 
criminals, and then imprison and hang them for committing 
crimes while under the influence of whiskey. You send a few 
missionaries to the heathen on pretence of saving their souls, and 
then send cargoes of whiskey to damn both soul and body. You 
MAKE long prayers for sinners, and then cast your rote for a traffic 
which makes sinners. You gather your skirts u}) with holy 
horror and rejoice that you are not as other men are, and then re- 
ceive money from whiskey sellers M^hom you have licensed to de- 
stroy the most sacred things of life — home, family, virtue, truth, 
and character. You court the favor of the beer brewer and 
whiskey distiller, and give him the choicest seats in your sanc- 
tuaries. You receive his money as if it were not stained with the 
blood of widows and orphans. You know that the ill-gotten 
money of the whiskey distiller, and beer brewer, represents the 
broken lives and homes of thousands of our people, and still you 
receive it into the same contribution box with the mite of the 

Memoivfi o/ a Reformer. 239 

poor but honest widow. You know that by your vote or cowardly 
silent acquiescence, this accursed traffic in liquor has blighted 
thousands of lives ; that thousands of homes are blasted with 
misery and ruin ; that thousands of widows and orphans 
are to-day suffering poverty and disease as a direct consequence 
of this devilish traffic, and still you have the impudence to ask 
" Pardon our sins and transgressions." Tried by all the rules of 
justice, morality, virtue, and right, are you not worse than the 
heathen ? Are you not cowardly, pharisaical hypocrites ? Think 
of it. 


The revolution in Texas ; its independence under Gen. Sam. 
Houston, and its subsequent annexation to the United States. 
The introduction of friction matches. The rebellion in Ca- 
nada ; and the civil and political liberty and material pros- 
perity that resulted therefrom. The crowning of Queen Vic- 
toria in 1837, and the Jubilee of 1887. The misgovernment 
of Ireland for fifty years. The introduction of steam railways 
into Canada. The war between the United States and Mexico, 
and the annexation of California, Arizona and New Mexico to 
the United States. The foremost Christian nation of Europe 
sacrificing its blood and treasure to uphold the unspeakable 
Turks. The introduction of the electric telegraph. The in- 
troduction of envelopes. The introduction of postage stamps. 
The discovery of the sources of the Nile. The rise and fall of 
Louis Philippe, King of the French ; the rise and fall of the second 
Republic ; the rise and fall of the second Empire ; the rise and 
fall of the Commune, and the establishment of the third Repub- 
lic in France. The rise and fall of the Roman Republic. The 
first settlement of the great States of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebras- 
ka, Neveda, Kansas, California, Oregon, and Dakota. The first 
settlement of the Great North-West Territories of Canada. The 
discovery of gold in California. The introduction of horse-cars. 

240 Mevioirs of a Reformer. 

The introduction of steel pens. Electricity utilized as a motor 
on railways, boats, and in many other useful ways. The intro- 
duction of coal, coal gas and coal oil into Canada. Four mil- 
lions of human beings held in bondage in the American Republic. 
Every pulpit in thirteen of the great states of the American Re- 
public upholding human slavery. Every pulpit in the northern 
or free states silently and passively upholding human slaverj^ 
Men, women and children bought, sold and driven in the Amer- 
ican Republic just as cattle and swine are bought and sold to- 
day. American slave drivers hunting fugitives from slavery in 
the New England States. The John Brown anti-slavery raid on 
the slave states ; the great civil war that followed, resulting in 
the emancipation of the slaves ; the creation of the Southern 
confederacy ; the downfall of the confederacy, and the res- 
toration of the union. The discovery of kerosene oil in Can- 
ada. The introduction of bicj'cles. The Franco-German war ; 
the fall of Napoleon and the unification of Germany. The 
discovery of the telephone. The Russo-Turkish war ; and the 
liberation of Bulgaria, Roumelia, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 
Turkey. The United States Centennial Exhibition — 1876. 
The foremost Christian nation of the world continually at war 
with weaker and inferior nations. The rise and fall of General 
William Walker's government in Nicaragua. The emancipa- 
tion of twenty-two million serfs by the Emperor Alexan- 
der II of Russia. The introduction of ocean steam naviga- 
tion. The introduction of mowers, reapers, binders, and many 
other agricultural labor-saving machines. The laying of the 
first ocean telegraph cable. The introduction of ironclad 
steamships and gunboats. The discovery of photography. The 
continued misgovernment of Ireland. The confederation of the 
Canadian provinces and the creation of the Dominion of Canada. 
The Northwest Rebellion, and the impolitic and unjust 
execution of Louis Riel. The introduction of torpedo 
boats. The discovery of chloroform. The wonderful career 
of General Garibaldi in South America and Italy ; the 
liberation of the Italian provinces, and the unification of Italy 

Memoirs of a Reformer. 241 

under King Victor Emmanuel. The discovery of the phono- 
graph. The introduction of sewing, knitting, type-writing, 
type-setting, and other labor-saving machines. The introduc- 
tion of breech -loading cannon and firearms. The partial ac- 
knowledgment that women are entitled to certain natural, per- 
sonal, inalienable rights which men should be compelled to re- 
spect. The continued ignorance, superstition and fetish ness of 
the medical profession. A despotic but unsuccessful attempt to 
enforce compulsory vaccination by fines and imprisonments in 
Montreal, in 1885. A growing belief among intelligent people 
that personal and municipal cleanliness is the best safeguard 
against all zymotic diseases. A growing belief amongst all 
classes of people that vaccination is a medical delusion, and 
utterly worthless as a safeguard against smallpox. A growing 
belief with all who think for themselves, that Hygiene is the 
natural, hence scientific basis of medical practice. A growing 
belief that tobacco and alcohol — twin curses of mankind — should 
be banished from the earth. 

What I Hope to Live to See. 

A republic of the United States of Europe. The natural right 
of every innocent human being to pursue life, liberty and hap- 
piness without medical, political and clerical interference. The 
clergy discard their narrow, bigoted, uncharitable sectarian 
views and become true helpers of men. The medical profession 
give up its fallacies, delusions and humbug, and become honest 
seekers after knowledge based on truth and justice. When 
human rights shall prevail over all man-made laws. When 
married women shall own and have absolute control of their own 
persons. Ihe full and complete extension to women of every 
civil, political and professional right and privilege enjoyed by 
men. Submarine navigation and serial navigation accomplished 
facts. When men and women shall go into physical and moral 
training for the generation of superior children. The perfection 
of the " electroscope," by which we may see distinctly what is 
transpiring hundreds of miles away. When it will be considered 

242 Meimoirs of a Reformer. 

a crime for parents to produce weak, sickly, idiotic or malform- 
ed children. The perfection of the " telephone," by which we 
may converse with friends thousands of miles away. When 
drunkenness shall be sufficient cause for divorce. The perfec- 
tion of the telescope and microscope, opening to our view the 
astronomical and infinitessimal worlds. Such an increase of 
knowledge that the secrets of the unseen world shall be as well 
understood by us as the ordinary things of to-day. The clergy 
engaged in educating the people to a noble conception of the pre- 
sent life, its duties and responsibilities. Physicians occupied in 
teaching the people how to preserve their health and prolong life 
by right living. The present hideous, hollow, obtrusive and 
absurd funeral and marriage customs and costumes abandoned. 
Cremation of the dead universally adopted. None but perfectly 
sound and healthy men and women allowed to marry. Parents, 
clergjmien, and physicians, set an example of temperance, truth- 
fulness and right-living in their homes. When public funerals 
shall be abolished. Parents teach their children the object and 
natural use of every organic function of their bodies, especially 
those connected with the digestion of food, and the reproduction 
of our species. Sun-power utilized for heating, and all kindred 
purposes. Food prepared in a condensed form, exactly suited 
to the wants of the human system. This will result in a great 
prolongation and vigorous enjoyment of life, while physical 
energy and brain power will be wonderfully developed. At pre- 
sent so much force is expended in the excretion of waste and in- 
jurious matter from the body that life is shortened. The abo- 
lition of disease by the extension of dietetic, hygienic and sani- 
tary knowledge. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco — twin evils — 
banished from the earth. The day when a character for honesty, 
integrity and sobriety shall be the highest aim of every human 
being. The above enumerated changes are only a few of the 
mighty elements now in progress of development, and which will 
ultimately become accomplished facts, and utilized for the bene- 
fit and welfare of man. 

Metnoirs of a Reformer. 243 


The present is a wonderful age, an age of inven- 
tion, discovery, development and progress, beyond 
any previous age in the history of the world. The 
most striking feature of this age is its intense 
activity in every department of human thought. 
Vital issues are coming forward for consideration 
and action as never before. To-day we stand on 
the thresholds of five wonderful worlds, and hold 
in our hands the crude weapons to be perfected for 
their conquest. The ocean world, the aerial world, 
the world of the infinitely little, the spirit world 
and the astronomical world. At present, we can 
only dimly see possibilities, which are as yet only 
dreams. Inexhaustible stores of powers exist all 
around us, useful now only for nature's interior 
operations, and openly visible only in the destruc- 
tive outbreaks which may yet be made useful in 
mechanical labor, and may lift man to an individual 
eminence far beyond our utmost dreams at the pre- 
sent time. 

*' No seed is lost — in earth's brown bosom cast, 

No deed is lost — of all the deeds we do ; 
Each grows to fruit — is harvested at last, 

Haply, in shape undreamed of, fair and new. 
And though we die before the end be won, 

Our deeds live on, and other men will cry, 
Seeing the end of what we have begun, 

Still lives the fruit for which flower's had to die." 

24i4< Memoirs of a Reformer. 


In looking back over the sixty years of my life 
now past, I rejoice that my lot was cast in a full 
period of mighty events and the fulfilment of great 
reforms that have proved a blessing to mankind. 
To have lived during this eventful period, and to 
have aided in the least degree in the accomplish- 
ment of these great reforms, is indeed cause for re- 
joicing and congratulation. 

It has always been my lot to be on the radical 
side of medicine, politics and religion, in conse- 
quence of which I have suffered outwardly and 
pecuniarily, but I have preserved my independence 
and acted according to the dictates of my own con- 
science. Instead of servilely accepting and obeying 
conventionalities, I have questioned them and judg- 
ed them from my own stand-point. I never could 
and never would look at things with other men's 
eyes, but through my own. I never could and 
never would accept formalities, either social or 
religious, cis a substitute for a pure life. From my 
earliest boyhood I have hated oppression. I have 
renounced every friendship, I have withdrawn from 
every church and society where infringement of con- 
science or personal right was attempted. 

If I know my own heart, I am conscious that 
my sincere desire has ever been to do some good in 

Memoirs of a. Reformer. 245 

this world, to promote the welfare and true happi- 
ness of my fellow men. If my motives have been 
misconstrued and my actions misrepresented, I can- 
not help it — those who traduce me do not know me. 
I am quite conscious that my life has been marked 
by many errors and faults which I have amended 
as far as I could. I am also quite conscious of the 
purity of my motives, and that has sustained me, 
as has the conviction that my life, labors and pur- 
suits have in some measure conduced to the freedom, 
happiness and welfare of others. 

The sincere appreciation, affectionate regard and 
devoted friendship of a few good men and women 
have been a great comfort to me when grieved and 
pained by the injustice of those who judged me 

My life, thus far, has been busy and anxious, 
but not joyless. Whether it shall be prolonged few 
or more years, I am grateful that it has endured so 
lon^f, and that it has abounded in opportunities for 
good not wholly unimproved. 

** 'Tis weary fighting all one's life, 
In one long, bitter desperate strife, 
'Gainst hydra-headed wrong — 
To give up all life's joys, that we 
May humble banner-bearers be, 
And yet we choose the weary way, 
The fighting not the feasting day." 






Letters from Co-Laborers in the Anti-Slavery Cause— Letters 
from Co- Laborers during the Slaveholders' Rebellion— Natural 
History Labors, Opinions of the Press— Letters from Friends 
in favor of Moral and Physical Reform — Letters from Friends 
and Co-Laborers in the cause of Anti-Compulsory Vaccination. 

From, John G. Whittier. 

Dear Friend Ross,—* * * '* Braver act was never done 
than thine in thy raids of humanity. How very satisfactory it 
must be to thee to know that the poor people whom, like another 
Moses, thou leds't out of bondage, have proved so well worthy of 
their freedom. God bless thee and thine. 

" Thy fifty years nave not been idle ones, but crowded with good 
works. I hope another half century may be added to them." 




From Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, Prime Minister of England. 

Hawarden Castle, Chester, 

January 14th, 1876. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — I have been reading some very interesting 
"Sketches of Anti-Slavery Men," and among them I find none 
more interesting than the sketch of your brave efforts to give 
freedom to the slaves of the American Republic. I conceive no 
one can deny the skill, forethought, and tenacity you exhibited in 
that pursuit, or withhold his admiration for signal courage, dis- 
interestedness, and humanity, which formed the basis of your 
whole proceeding. * ^ * 

From Gerrit Smith. 

My Dear Friend Ross, — * * * No one knows better than 
I how deeply devoted you were to the cause of the oppressed, or 
with what heroic bravery, determination and success you labored 
to bring the poor slaves out of bondage. The descendants of 
those for whom you so often perilled your life, will " rise up and 
call you blessed. " * * * Heaven bless you my dear friend. 

From Wendell Phillips, 

Dear Ross, — * * * No higher heroism, courage or tenacity 
of purpose was ever displayed than by you in your chivalric 
efforts to help the slaves to freedom. That your days may be 

Appendix, 251 

many and happy my preux chevalier is the sincere wish of your 

From Oliver Johnson, one of the founders ojthe American Anti- 
Slavery Society. 

Dear Ross, — * * * What joy it must be to you to revive 
the memory of your self-sacrificing labors and success in freeing 
the slaves. I pray that the blessing of heaven may rest upon 

From LucRETiA Mott. 

My Dear Friend, — * * * Thou hast my sincere admira- 
tion for the noble and courageous part thee acted during our 
struggle with slavery. Thou hast made the world better by thy 
life and labors. * * * Thy sincere and devoted friend. 

From General Joseph Garibaldi, the Italian Liberator. 

Dear Ross, — * * * It is more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury since our friendship began in the little house on Staten 
Island. * * * * ^' I am proud to number among my dear- 
est friends one who has done so much for the cause of human 
freedom as you have. * '• *. 

Yoiirs for life, 


From the Honourable Henry Wilson, Vice-President 
of the United States. 

Dear Dr. Ross,'— * * * When the history of the great 
conflict waged by the Abolitionists against the Slave Power is 
fully written out, no name will take higher rank than yours, for 
devotion, courage and faithful service in the cause of freedom. 

252 Appendix, 

From Victor Hugo. 
Accept, sir, the homage of my respect and sympathy for your 
brave and successful labors in the cause of human freedom. 

From Honorable Benjamin F. Wade. Vice-President oj the 
United States. 

My Dear Ross, — * * Never in the history of the M^orld 
did the same number of men perform so great an amount of good 
for the liuman race, and for their country, as the abolitionists, 
and it is my duty to add that no one of their number submitted 
to greater privations, perils or sacrifices, or did more in the great 
and noble work than yourself ; long may you be remembered, 
and may God be praised for your success. 

Fro7n the Can. lllm. Netvs, March 19th, 1881. 

" Dr. Ross' fame as a naturalist is world-wide ; but his claims 
to public recognition are not confined to his achievements in that 
field. His laoors, perils, and successes as an active, earnest 
worker in the great anti-slavery struggle in the United States, 
which culminated in the liberation from bondage of four millions 
of slaves, won for him the praise and friendship of his co-workers 
in that great struggle. There is no risk now in denouncing the 
sin and injustice of human slavery ; but it was another thing to 
denounce, and to seek individually to release its victims from 
bondage twenty-five years ago, when it was upheld by the law, 
the church, and self-interest in the Slave States ; yet that is just 
what Dr. Ross did on many occasions. The little band of radical 
abolitionists with whom he was laboring, were despised, hated, 
and ostracised by the rich, the powerful, and the so-called higher 
classes : but Dr. Ross has always possessed tlie courage of his 
convictions, and prefers the approval of his own conscience to 
the smiles or favors of men. The subject of our sketch is a native 
of Canada and a highly esteemed citizen of Montreal." 

Appendix. 253 

From William Lloyd Garrison, the Pioneer Abolitionist of 
the United States. 

My Dear Friend, — I have not forgotten you nor your brave 
crusade in behalf of the poor bondsmen. It must be a source of 
unalloyed pleasure to you to call to mind the active and zealous 
part you took in our great struggle, particularly in reference to 
enabling slaves to escape from their Southern house of bondage, 
and procuring for them aid and succour on their way to Canada, 
and after their arrival on that side of the line. That you did not 
fall a victim to your humanity, in view of the perils which, 
everywhere at the South, beset your pathway, but were permit- 
ted to see the four millions of slaves set free from their bonds, 
and raised from the chattlehood to the rights of American 
citizenship, is indeed cause for equal wonder and congratulation. 
Neither you nor I, nor any other abolitionist, expected to live to 
see this unparalleled transformation. At times, however, it 
seems almost like a dream, rather than a bright reality. * * * 

From Harriet Beecher StowE. 

My Dear Dr. Ross, — Your welcome letter carries me back 
to the time when my brother, Henry Ward Beecher, and myself, 
just returned from a Western life and come to live in Eastern 
cities, were shocked and outraged by finding, both in church and 
state, a universal bowing down to the Fugitive Slave Law. I re 
member his coming then to lecture up in the State of Maine, 
where I was then living, and of our meeting and sitting up at 
night to ask each other, What can we do for a testimony against 
this wrong. He was going to preach and lecture through the 
land ; and I said, " I have begun a set of sketches in the National 
Era, to illustrate the cruelty of slavery ; I call it Uncle Tom's 
Cabin." " That's right," he said, " write it, and we'll print it, 
and scatter it ' Thick as the leaves of Vallambrosa. ' ' 

That was the beginning, and since then " What hath God 
wrought ? " 

Whenever since then I have been tempted to be low-spirited 
or desponding, I think, well ! thank God for one thing, I have 

254 Appendix. 

lived to see slavery abolished ; and God only knows what a com- 
fort that is. Never let any one despair that has lived to see 
that. What a comfort to you must be the reflection that you 
have saved so many from these horrors. I congratulate you. 
With sincere respect and sympathy. 

From Lydia Maria Child. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — * * * You deserve the respect and grati- 
tude of every friend of freedom for your earnest and efficient 
efforts to bring the oppressed out of the house of bondage. The 
present generation cannot realize how courageous, as well as 
cautious, a man must have been to carry on such a mission as you 
did during several years. It seems so strange that those exciting 
times in which we live«l and labored with soul-thrilling incidents, 
constantly urging us on, have now become mere records of his- 
tory ! And how inadequate the record will be to convey a true 
idea of the time, money, talent, and zeal so lavishly expended 
to right a great national wrong 1 With feelings of profound 
thankfulness for your heroic help during our struggle to throw 
off the virulent disease that was poisoning the life-blood of the 
nation. * * * 

From the New York Evening Post, September 2nd, 1875. 

Dr. A. M. Ross, the Author and Abolitionist, devoted him- 
self for the five or six years that preceded the war to the work 
of assisting slaves to escape. Anybody familiar with the temper 
of the Southern people just before the war will easily guess the 
fate of a man who should have been detected in what Dr. Ross 
proposed to do, and did. 

From the Irish Canadian, Toronto, Jidy 7th, 1875. 

We know Dr. Ross to be the devoted friend of the slave. His 
sympathy' for the oppressed of all climes and colors is as bound- 
less as the impulses of his noble heart, and the exact color of a 
man's skin, or the particular race to which he may belong, is no 
barrier in his estimation to the right to freedom which God in- 
tended from the beginning should be the birthright of all the 
human family. 

The following extracts from letters received by 
the Author during the great rebellion, are published 

Appendix. 255 

with a view to illustrate the varied hopes and fears 
that animated leading Abolitionists during the con- 
test between freedom and slavery. 

From Wendell Phillips. 

Boston, September 4th, 1864. 

Dear Ross, — * * Mr. Lincoln may, probably does, wish the 
grand result, freedom to the negro, but he is too much a border 
statesman in his opinions. Hence the negro is not to him a man 
in the full sense. Hence he overrates the prejudices and com- 
fort of the slaveholders. Consequently, though he desires the 
result, he hesitates at the means. Public opinion has bayon- 
netted him up to his present position, and may yet save us 
through him, or rather in spite of him ; but it is a very dangerous 
risk to run. Settlement is a more dangerous hour than war. 
Hence I oppose Lincoln's re-election ; prominent Republicans 
dread it. The leading Senator of New England said lately, 
*' Lincoln's election would be destruction ; McClellan's would be 
damnation. " So the leaders are making an efifort to induce Lin- 
coln to withdraw, and unite all earnest men on a better candi- 
date. If we effect that, we are safe. 

The task we have to do is a very great one. Davis made a rebel- 
lion ; it was all he could do. Lincoln, by tampering, delay, in- 
decision, and long tenderness for slavery,, has made a Confeder- 
acy — united, proud, with friends, and military strength. * * "" 

With great regard and many thanks for all you have done for 

From Horace Greeley. 

Office of the Tribune, 

New York, May 19th, 1863. 

Dear Friend,— Since the outbreak of our terrible war, I have 
made it a rule to be rarely ever away from our city for any dis- 
tance. I should like very much to meet you and Mr. Giddings 
at Gerrit Smith's next week, but it is not possible for me. When 
this bloody conflict ends, I shall take a breathing spell ; then, \ 

256 Appendix. 

hope, you will spend a week with me, and we'll talk over the 
events of the past ten years in which you have borne so active 
and noble a part. Don't pass through New York without drop- 
ping in to see me. * * * 

Yours faithfully, 

From John Greenleaf Whittier ( The Quaker Poet. ) 

Amesbury, 27, 5th mo., 1865. 

Dear Friend Ross, — It s;ives me great satisfaction to see the 
friends of freedom in Canada and England acting in behalf of the 
freedmen of the United States. * * * 

The tears which both nations are shedding over the grave of 
our beloved President are washing out all the bitter memories 
of misconception and estrangement between them. So good 
comes out of evil. 

Oh, Englishmen I in hope and creed. 
In blood and tongue our brothers ; 
We, too, are heirs of Runnymede, — 
And Shakespeare's fame and Cromwell's deed 
Are not alone our mothers. 

Thicker than water in one rill, 

Through centuries of story ; 
Our Saxon blood has flow'd, and still — 
We share with you the good and ill. 

The shadow and the glory. 

Thine truly, 

' Appendix. 25 T 

From William Cullen Bryant. 

RosLYN, Long Island, June 3id, 1865. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — * * * j am glad to know the cause of 
the United States has so strenuous a defender in Canada. Your 
zealous and patriotic labors merit the thanks of all who desire 
the prosperity of this country. * * 

Faithfully yours, 

C _y^r7^ ^y^-ifCiAi^ 

2^ro??i <tENERAl Garibaldi. 

Brescia (Italy), September, 1865. 

" ■" •• I rejoice with j^ou over the destruction of slavery in 
the American Republic. '' " * Cloisters and prisons are not 
His work. God made liberty — man made slaver^-. 

Ever vours, 

From Gerrit Smith. 

Peterboro', August 31, 1864. 

My Dear Friend, — * * * j had strong fears from the 
first that you would be battled. We thank you for your noble 
and benevolent purpose, and accept the will for the deed. I be- 
lieve the Heavenly Father means that my country shall live ; 
she has more to fear just now from Northern demagogues than 
from Southern re)>els. * 

* * * I am glad to learn that your heart is set on Lincoln's 
re-election. * * * This nation will live. It has given ample 
proof that it can withstand both foreign and domestic foes ; both 
Northern and Southern rebels. \q&, this nation will live to see 
herself and the whole continent free from oppressors — not from 
slaveholders only, but from Imperial despots also. As life is the 


258 Ap2:>endii>'. 

law of righteousness, so death is the law of wickedness ; and the 
wickedness of the Democratic party is nearing that extreme 
limit, where Avickedness dies of itself. Be of good cheer— God 
is for us. Your friend, 

From Wendell Phillips. 

Boston, June 12th, 1865. 

Dear Ross, — * * "" I mail you, with this, my last two 
speeches and evening talks on Lincoln's death, from which you 
will obtain a view of my present position. 

I will only add that since these speeches, I have become more 
and more anxious and doubtful about the policy our PresiHent 
(Johnson) will pursue. The Cabinet are about equally divided on 
the question of negro suffrage. But we hope to make an active 
use of the interval before the next session of Congress, to mani- 
fest (I saj' manifest, because it already' exists), such a determined 
public opinion as will awe the Government into following that 
radical course in which the masses are abundantly ready to sup- 
port them. Time will show m hat we can do. Politicians are 
slippery reliance in war times as well as in peace. Thank you for 
vour active and zealous efforts in our behalf. 

From Gerrit Smith. 

Peterroro', July 1st, 1865. 
DEA.R Friend, — " * * Slavery has received its death 
blow ; but it is by no means certain that our nation will be 
saved or still united. We may first have to pass through a 
war of races. I am not satisfied with the course our Government 
Mohnson's) is pursuing in the matter of " reconstruction." My 
poor, guilty country cannot be saved so long as it hates and per- 
secutes the black man. Our nation is lost if the Freedmen are 
denied the ballot. 

Your friend, 

Gerrit Smith. 

Ajypendix. 259 


Opmions of the Press. 

From the Canadian Illustrated News, Oct. 3rd, 1874. 

" We have much pleasure in presenting to our readers this 
week a portrait of Dr. A. M. Ross, the distinguished naturalist. 
Dr, Ross is forty years of aeje, a Canadian by birth, of Highland 
Scotch descent. For many years he has devoted himself to the 
collection and classification of our native Flora and Fauna. His 
Ornithological, Entomological, and Botanical collections, are un- 
doubtedly the most extensive and complete ever made by one in- 
dividual. Dr. Ross has embodied the results of his labors in 
several valuable and interesting works from his pen, which have 
met with a cordial and appreciative reception in Canada, and by 
naturalists in Europe and America. Dr. Ross' labors, as a 
naturalist, have been highlj^ appreciated by the leading savants 
of Europe. 

It is matter of congratulation that we have resident among us 
a gentleman whose achievements in the fascinating sciences of 
Ornithology, Entomology, and Botany, have made him a standing 
authority throughout the scientific world. 

From ''Men of the Times,'' Boutledge, England, 1878. 

Dr. Ross has been engaged in collecting and classifying the 
Flora and Fauna of British North America. He has collected 
and classified 570 species of birds that visit Canada ; 247 species 
of mammals, reptiles, and fresh-water fish ; 3,400 species of in- 
sects belonging to the orders of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and 
Neuroptera ; and 2,200 species of Canadian flora. Dr. Ross has, 
by his labors, enriched the Natural History Museums of Paris, 
St. Petersburg, Milan, Rome, Athens, London, Constantinople, 
Tiflis, Teheran, Brussels, and Dresden, with valuable contribu- 
tions of Canadian flora and fauna. Several of his literary pro- 
ductions have been republished in France and Italy ; his chief 
publications are : '* Birds of Canada," 1872; Butterflies and Moths 

260 A'ppendix. 

of Canada," 1875 ; "Flora of Canada/' 1874 ; " Forest Trees of 
Canada,"1874 ; " Monographs on Architecture of Canadian Birds' 
Nests," "Food of Canadian Birds," "Migration of Canadian 
Birds," "Remains of the Elephas Americanus and Mastodon 
Giganteus found in Canada," 1875 ; "Recollections and Experi- 
ences of an Abolitionist," 1875 ; " Mammals, Reptiles and Fresh- 
water Fish of Canada," 1878. 

From the Unire/rnty Journal, Athenn, Gret'ce, Dec. 9th, IS'76. 

" With pleasure we announce to our people that the illustrious 
Canadian naturalist, Alexander Ross, has enriched our Museum 
bj' a magnificent and precious gift of many rare objects of Cana- 
dian natural history, and a complete set of his published works. 
The celebrated Canadian lias by this kindly gift taught our peo- 
ple to study that far-otf land and its wonderful natural pro- 

From the Opinion Publique, Montreal, April 23rd, 187 6. 

"The Italian IllvMrated, published in Milan and Rome, Italy, 
contains in a recent number an excellent portrait of Alexander 
M. Ross, the celebrated Canadian naturalist, and an interesting 
account of his labors and successes. 

"The fame of Dr. Ross belongs to Canada as one of its most 
])rilliant men. No other scientific man in America has received 
more evidence of the esteem of his fellow-men, nor any such de- 
coration* on the part of the sovereigns. He has been made a 
member of nearly all the scientific societies of Europe. The King 
of Italy has made him a Chevalier of the Crown of Italy ; the 
King of Portugal, Chevalier Commander of the Military Order of 
the Conception ; the King of Greece, Chevalier of the Redeemer ; 
the King of Saxony, Chevalier of the Order of Albert : his Im- 
perial Majesty the Emperor of Russia, Chevalier of the Imperial 
and Roval Order of St. Anne ; Denmark, Belgium, Austria, and 
p^gypt have bestowed medals and diplomas of honor. Some of 
his' ifumerous writings have been translated into Freucli and 
Italian, and their reproduction has spread in all Europe the most 
useful ideas of the inexhaustible resources of Canada." We are 
happy to offer a portrait of the doctcn' taken from a recent 

Appendi.c. -^1 




By the Key. James Coutts, Kcmptvilk, Out. 

I have been moved to write the following brief sketch of Dr. 
Ross' labors from feelings of gratitude, admiration and justice ; 
having been fully cognizant of his labors and sacrihces, in tins 
great work of moral reform, from the first. 

Dr. Ross took the ground that " the feople should know 
of this evil in its enormity, and in its far-reaching devastation 
and ruin. Strange to say, in attempting to give this information, 
he met with bitter opposition from many meinbers of the medi- 
cal profession. Said the late Dr. John Rolph, of Toronto, to 
him, on asking his advice regarding entering on the work : 
" Don't touch it, unless you are prepared to be ostracised and 
hated by the medical profession, and slandered and persecuted 
by society at large ; but, if you are willing to face these obstacles 
vou can do more real good than all the preachers, teachers and 
physicians have done on this subject during the last centurv. 

In the prosecution of the work. Dr. Ross found the above 
statement to be a prophetic declaration. It has been fulfilled to 
the letter. He has suffered persecution, ostracism, slander, mis- 
representation and personal sacrifice while engaged in this Uirist- 
like work ; but he went right on with his work, in tlie face ot 
all this opposition, bravely and persistently doing his duty, not 
even stopping to reply to his persecutors and slanderers, ilns 
required determined purpose and singleness of aim, both ot wiucn 
are found as factors in the character of Dr. Ross. Such men are 
hotmd to succeed in what they undertake. 

During these eighteen years he has, at his own expense, circu- 
lated six hundred thousand documents, filled with words of warn- 
ing to the rising generation of young men and women^ Ihis 
itself is a grand work accomplished. 

262 Appendix. 

Dr. Ross has given the best years of his life to this work. He 
has thrown all the ability, energy and earnestness of which he is 
possessed into it. In short, here is the work of a real philan- 

From Rev. John Ellison, Chaplain to His Grace the Arch- 
bishop OF Canterbury. 

Addington Park, Croyden, Eng. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — " " * You have doubtless heard of 
the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury on Advent Sunday. 
Nothing but his long illness prevented him from taking an active 
part in your great work. I should be glad to be the means of 
distributing your little tracts if you would kindly send me 

From His Grace Archbishop Lynch, of Toronto. 

My Dear Doctor Ross, — I am very glad tliat you have taken 
up this matter. I have striven to combat this vice all my life, 
both publicly and privately, and I shall be most happy to dis- 
tribute your tracts. 

From Dr. Daniel Clark, M edical Superintendent of the Toronto 
Asylum for the Insane. 

My Dear Doctor, — I wish you all success in this much 
NEEDED work. 1 published 600 copics of my "Report" upon 
my own responsibility and distributed them where I thought 
they would do the most good. 

From John G. Whittier, tht Quaker Poet. 

Dear Friend, — I thank thee for thy kind note, and enclosed 
report of a much needed labor in the cause of the moral and phy- 
sical health and happiness of the community. Thy friend. 

From Wendkll Phillips, the Orator of Freedom. 

Dear Old Friknd, — Thank you for the gallant fight you are 
making in the good cause ; you expected obloquy and persecu- 
tion. T*ersevere ! The ideas and principles you are maintain- 
ing are richly worth the sacrifice. Cordially your brother. 

Appendix. 26S 

Front Rev. Prof. Scrimuer, of Montreal. 

I sympathize very strongly in the object you aim at. I have- 
reason to know that the vice is much more common than most 
people suppose. It is also an exceedingly cliflBcult matter to deal 
with in any effective way. If you could send me say 100 copies 
of your tracts, I would like to place them in the hands of the 
young men and lads under my pastoral care. I hope your ef- 
forts will do much good. 

From Rev. Dr. W. S. Rainsford, New York City. 

I wish you all success in your thankless task. I ani con- 
vinced that many are more and more coming to recognize the 
need of plain statement and more offensive attitude with regard 
to this widespread evil. Send me some of your tracts suitable 
for mv confirmation classes. 

From Rev. W. W. Andrews, Sackville, N.JJ. 

I desire to express my sympathy with your crusade against 
that moral pestilence that walketh in darkness. In our High 
schools it is almost an epidemic, and many who would recoil 
from other impurities are caught in this net of Satan. Go on, 
Doctor ! You are fighting an enemy that marcheth not with 
banners or with plumes, and that requires the greatest courage, 
but yours will be a nobler victory and the brighter crown. 

From Rev. James MoAi.ister, Tliessalon, Onf. 

I desire to pen a few words of sympathy and encourage/ uent, 
praying that they may be the means of strengthening you in the 
grand and holy work in which you are engaged. You are em- 
ployed in a work the prosecution of which, in its grand effects. 
will continue to roll down the ages yet to come, scattering light 
in its glorious way, and causing thousands of human beings to 
call you blessed. 

From Rev. F. A. Cassidy, Wooddock^ Out. 

I tender you my most hearty and prayerful sympathy in 
your good work. Believing that your life and laburs have 
already been made a blessing to our country, 1 hope you may 
long be spared to prosecute your truly philanthropic labors ; and 
that you may save many a youth from an untimely grave, and 
many a mother from a broken heart. 

264 Appendix. 

From Rev. Charles W. Holdex, Napier, Ont. 

Thousands will, with feelings of inexpressible gratitude, re- 
member the name of Dr. A. M. Eoss, who began, and is carrying 
on so successfully this work of moral reform. Thro ugh "^ the 
labors of this great reformer many are being enlightened and 
saved for lives of usefulness. 

From Rev. C. E. Maxnixo, Toronto, Ont. 

When there seemed no eye to pity the ignorant victim of 
this sin, C4od in His love moved upon the heart of Dr. Ross to 
originate and carrj^ out the greatest moral reform of this age. 

From Rev. H. G. Fraser, ''McMaster Hall," Toronto, Ont. 

What more noble, what moi-e philanthropic work, than that 
in which Dr. Ross has been the pioneer and worker ? God speed 
his work I must be the Mish of all who know its nature and 

From Rev. Henry Irvine, London, Ont. 

I am glad the stamp of men who are willing to be ostracised, 
and branded if need be, for the sake of right and truth, still live. 
" To those whose names are cast out for the truth's sake, it is a 
small thing to be judged of man's judgment." 

From Rev. A. Ixwood, Parma, Out. 

Spread the information broadcast over the land, and under 
the light of knowledge this hideous eyil will be stopped. It is 
yours to battle for the truth, to fight against wron(.' in the face 
of opposition. I pra}^ for your success in your noble crusade 
against vice. 

From Rkv. John E. Hockey, Victoria Unireraity, Cohoim/, Out. 

1 Avish you every success in your enterprise for humanity. 
You maj' be persecuted by an ignorant and ungenerous genera- 
tion, but a grand future awaits you amongst future generations 
of men, Mhen your wortli will be appreciated and j'our name en- 
rolled Avitli the noble and f'ood of all ages. 

Ajypendix, 265 

Froyn Rev. W. R. Wood, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Out. 

Dr. Ross is doing the work of a true philanthropist ; not 
only has he been the means of saving the lives of hundreds who 
have proved useful, but he has awakened thousands to the enor- 
mity of this sin. 

From Rev. Wm. Price, Stratford, Out. 

I enter most heartily into your plan with regard to this cry- 
ing evil, and will be glad to assist in your labor of love to fallen 
humanity. " Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trum- 
pet, and"^tell the people their transgressions." 

Crusade against Compulsory 


" / regard comjmlsory vaccination with mistrust and misgiving." 
—Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone. 

" I am strongly opposed to comptdsory racciiiation."— Herbert 

*• Tht London Society for the Abolition of Comjmlsory 

London, Enc^., Jan. 5, 1886. 

Dear Dr. Ross,— I am desired to forward to you the subjoined 

copy of a Resolution moved by our President, William Tebb, 

seconded by W. S. Beurle, Esq., and carried unanimously at 

the meeting of the Executive Committee, held on Wednesday, 

Jan. 2nd. 

Yours very truly, 



266 Appendia:. 

* ' Having heard with deep regret of the illness of Dr. Alexander 
M. Ross, of Montreal, brought on by his arduous and self-sacri- 
ficing labors in resisting the vaccination tyranny :— RESOLVED, 
that the sympathy of the Executive Committee of this society 
be, and is hereby tendered to Dr. Ross, with the hope of his 
speedy restoration to health, coupled with an expression of their 
high appreciation of his successful efforts for the promotion of 
rational and scientific methods of preventing disease." 

From Baron Gryzanowski, Doctor of Medidnt. 

LivoRNO, Italy. 
My Brave Confrere, — I hasten to express my cordial sympa- 
thy with your aims, which are our aims, and your sufferings, 
which are greater than our sufferings. If the fallacy of the 
vaccination doctrine were a scientific one, it might not be so very 
difficult to prove it ; but the onus prohandi lies on the vaccin- 
ators, and they have long since confessed that vaccination has no 
scientific basis. Your heroic fight has been watched with deep 
interest in this country — one man with truth 1 — against a million 
with error ! 

From J. Mackenzie, M.D., F.R.C.S.E. 


Dear Dr. Ross, — I have been in active civil and military ser- 
vice since 1824, and no subject has ever met me carrying to the 
thoughtless public anything approaching in folly or crime, the 
load of lies that vaccination has had, and has, to bear from its 
votaries and victims. 

Myself v^accinated in childhood, yet attacked by smallpox, and 
myriads of the vaccinated daily dying from smallpox, besides 
those who suffer from scrofula and other diseases everywhere, 
though once denied, but now admitted, as being introduced to 
our bodies by vaccination, it is really shocking to see numbers 
of medical men still busy extolling to their dupes that smallpox 
is extinguished bj' vaccination. How they ever can touch vac- 
cination fees M'ithout holes being burned in their vile hands, 
astonishes me. 

From Edward Haughton, M.D. 

London, Enu, 

Dkar Dr. Ross, — " I trust your generous advocacy 

of Trstli and LiV)erty has not got you into any personal ditficuity ; 

Appendix. 267 

and I desire hereby to record on behalf of many others, as well 
as myself, that we in this country deeply sympathize with you 
in your — at present — unequal contest with a time-serving press. 

From the RiciHT Hon. Lord Clifton, M.P., Buy/and. 

My Dear Dr. Ross, — I need not say that I deeply sympathize 
with you in the gallant fight you have been making in Montreal 
against a despotic profession and a prostitute press. No words 
can be too strong to express my abhorrence at the attitude t-akea 
by the Montreal press, to say nothing of English and American 

The cruel and despotic tone of these hired quill-drivers would 
lead one to suppose that one was living in the darkest ages of 
superstition and tyranny. I am very glad that we anti-vaccina- 
tionists, who are denounced by a sordid and lying press as men 
of only one single idea, can yet number in our ranks such a we[!- 
known and tried slavery abolitionist as yourself. 

From Her Excellency the Countess ])>: Xoatlles, Smux, 


Dear Dr. Ross, — I must thank you most heartily for the 
great work you are doing in Montreal. You have many warm 
Friends and admirers in England who have watched your braive 
contest with deep interest. 

From J. J. Garth Wilkinson, M.D., LL.D. 

4 FiNCiiLEY Road, St. John's Wood, London, Eng. 

My Dear Dr Ross, — 1 hope I need not tell you how deeply I 
sympathize with you, a lone rider and a horse of battle, in the 
midst of the Tast pack of vaccinating wolves. The treatment 
you have experienced is unspeakably infamous. The profession 
which has inflicted it has cast the last remains of conscience out 
of its heart. It used to be a medical canon that in or during 
small-pox epidemics, vaccination should not be resorted lo. 
Why is it abandoned now V Because epidemics are panic times ; 
and at these times there is more power to coerce the unwilling 
and a readier seduction of the wavering and the willing to sub- 
mit to the foul, false rite. The abolition of this canon, founded 
upon real knowledge, is an act of public baseness on the part of 
the medical body. How has vaccination destroyed our poor 

268 Appendix. 

profession ; its power of thought, its skill, its common honesty. 
How is it made the ready prostitute of Pasteurism and all its 
congenerate Sodoms ! We will fight on under God, and His 
time will come for purging the nations of this immeasurable 
iniquity. With deep respect and admiration for your brave 
stand for j'^our people, I am yours fraternally. 

Fro?n Trofessou {Emeritus) Francis W. Newmax, of Oxford 
University, England. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — I feel it my duty to send to you an expres- 
sion of my sympathy with you in your gallant fight against com- 
pulsory vaccination. 

No physician knows what is put into the blood by vaccination, 
so-called ; but the sin of it is to a/ttr the blood, forsooth, to im- 
prove it bj" artifice ! No legislator has a right to assault a heal- 
thy bod}'. A physician who accounts a healtliy child "danger- 
ous to society "' is a fool. Those who advise re-vaccination be- 
cause the force of vaccination is evanescent, indicate that 
they wish to keep us in permanent cow-pox or calf-pox, or 
some other pox — they care not particularly -svhich. This will 
suffice to show how warmly I esteem your labors. 

I read with deep interest that in the slavery age of the United 
Sta:es, you in Canada personally played so noble a part on the side 
of freedom. " I sincerely thank you for what you the7i did, and for 
what you are nou: doing. In Roman fashion I would say to you. 
Made rirtafe esto. You will certainly never repent of it, what- 
ever"your sacrifice. 

From Dr. Gottfrikd SciirESTf:K, Professor of the Unirersity, 
Zuri'-h, Switzerland. 

" I desire to thank you for your crusade against vaccination. 
You have many sympathising and admiring friends in this coun- 
try. Vaccination is not compulsory in Switzerland." 

From Linda Gilbert, the Prison Reformer, New York. 

My Dear Dr-., — I am in liearty sympathy with your 
work as regards anti- vaccination. God bless you ! 

Appendix. 269 

From Baron Pat'l Walewsky, CounciUor of State, Staff SurgHjn 
of the Imperial Fussian Army. 

To Dr. Alexander Ross of Canada, — I have heard of the 
battle you have fought and won against the enemies of cleanliness 
and common sense. You have my cordial thanks for the brave 
stand you maintained in the face of so much opposition. Vac- 
cination, is not compulsory (except in the army and navy) in 
Russiii — l>ut Canada is a free country (?). * """ 

From Dr. Don Jose Santa Pietra, Naval Surgeon. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — Information has reached me from England 
of your gallant fight against vaccination ; I rejoice in your suc- 
cess and congratulate you, Ex animo. " ■• 

From Professor P. A. SiLJESTRo:\r, Eektor oj the Uiiirersiti/. 

Stockholm, Sweden. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — I wish you every success in your struggle 
for our common cause — that great cause the importance of which, 
from a sanitary point of view, only few persons di\ly appreciate. 
I am astonished to see the a1)surd and tyrannical rite of vac- 
cination kept up, as it appears, with still more severity on the 
other side of the Atlantic, than in the Old World, and it is really 
depressing in our days to witness a spirit of persecution -which 
recalls past ages of religious persecution, and from which your- 
self have suffered in a most odious way. If there were wanting 
any further evidence of the falsity of the vaccination theory, this 
sort of persecution is certainly one. True science never applies 
to such means. But we may hope for better times, and undoubt- 
edly a time will come when the claim of the medical profession 
to save our bodies from small-pox by the aid of fines and im- 
prisonments, shall be read with the same feeling with which we 
now read of the persecution of the church in former times, — to 
save souls by halter and stake. 

From Dr. Wilhelm Ritter Von FRANKENBrRd, Vienna^- 

Dear Chevalier Ross, — I was much surprised to learn that 
vaccination was compulsory in a free country like Canada. You, 

270 Appendix. 

my good friend, are deserving of praise instead of persecution, 
for the brave fight you have made against such terrible odds. I 
hope for 3"our success. 

From. Alfred Milnes, Esq., M.A., Fellow of the Statistical 
Society of London. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — If words of friends are helpful in your hour 
of need, I would that words of mine could come clothed in power 
beyond speech. I am not so presumptuous as to suppose that 
anything can be said by the raw recruit to cheer you, the veteran 
of a hundred fights. Men and wonien have breathed the air of 
liberty, who but for you had died in thraldom. And, now, the 
fight is won for the parents of an oppressed race, it has to be 
fought out for the children of all races. Nor is the struggle 
quite so unequal as it seems. Your purpose is single and your 
aims are weapons of precision. Toil on, then, undaunted ; you 
are sowing seed that our little ones may reap, nor fail to bless 
the flower. 

From Dr Oidtman, Staff Surgeon of the Imperial German Army, 

and Chief Physician to the Hospitals at Verdun and 

St. Queniin. during the Franco-German War, 

RuRicH Castle, Prussia. 

My Dear Frik" d and Colleague, — The Count Hompesch 
wishes you all success from his heart, and I do also. Our con- 
gratulations on your success ! Your brethren in Germany are 
having success. Chancellor Bismarck has taken our side. With 
all wishes for vour success. 

Fro-m Dr. R. Wallace, co-discoverer with Darmin, oj 
the Principle of Natural Selection. 

Frith Hill, Oodalmino, England. 

Dear Dr. Ross, — You are doing an excellent work, and the 
i-esult will, I trust, be the repeal of the most iniquitous compul- 
sory vaccination law. The reckless waj' in which false or one- 
sided statements are promulgated by pro-vaccinators is surely an 
indication of the badness of their cause, A good and really 
scientific practice never needs bolstering up by exaggerations and 
lies. I stepped out of my special path to strike a blow at this 

Appendix. 271 

wretched superstition as soon as I became thoroughly convinced 
of its errors, and of the cruelty and danger arising out of its 
compulsory enforcement. With best wishes for your succees. 

From Lady E. de Moroan, 

Chelsea, England. 

Dear Dr. Ross,— You are waging a noble warfare, against 
preiudice and ignorance. Be of good courage, " Blessed areye^ 
when men shall reproach yon, and cast out your name as evil. 
May God bless your labors. 


*' The world has had reformers, men who were sternly just, 
Who smote the thrones of wickedness and laid them in the dust ; 
Meek, tender men, made mighty by mankind's blood and tears, 
Strong men, whose words were thunderbolts to smite the wrong 
of years. 

Were all these stern reformers of a breed too weak to last ? 
Did all the great wrong-smiters wane and perish in the past? 
Did they fight a losing battle ? were they -nquered in the fray ? 
Why are there no reformers fighting in the orld to-day ? 

Well, 'tis but a thing of labels ; the reformers have not gone, 
But they're mixing with the people with misleading placards on ; 
For we placard them "Fanatics," "Visionaries," "Cranks,'" 

and "Fools,"— 
Men denounced by clubs and churches, by the journals and the 

There are men who bear these placards daily in the market-place, 
Heroes of the ancient lineage, kings and saviours of the race. 
Yet we never see their greatness through life's trivial events, 
But our children's sons will read it on their granite monuments." 




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